Get Our Email Newsletter

Retail Industry Continues to be the Largest Private Sector Employer

The retail industry supported 55 million full-time and part-time jobs in 2022, accounting for 26 percent of total US employment, according to a new report released by the National Retail Federation. The figures are up from 52 million jobs and 25 percent of total US employment in 2018. Conducted by PwC, The Economic Contribution of the US Retail Industry examines the direct, indirect, and induced contribution of the retail industry to the US economy.

“The retail industry continues to expand in every way possible, from the number of jobs it supports to the number of retail businesses, and its total impact on GDP,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “As the largest private sector employer, American families and workers depend on a strong retail economy for continued growth and opportunity in communities large and small across the country.”

According to the report, the retail industry’s total labor income contribution was approximately $3 trillion, or 20 percent of total national labor income in 2022. The industry’s total gross domestic product (GDP) contribution was $5.3 trillion, accounting for 20.4 percent of US GDP.

In terms of direct economic contribution, the report found that there were nearly 4.6 million retail establishments in 2022, which accounted for 11.1 percent of all business establishments in the country. Retailers also directly provided 32.2 million jobs for American workers.

- Digital Partner -

While retailers can range from small, local businesses to global operations, the study found that the vast majority (98.6 percent) had fewer than 50 employees in 2022. These firms accounted for 40.1 percent of all retail jobs and 35.6 percent of total labor income in the retail industry. Those with 50 or more employees accounted for a significant portion of retail employment (59.9 percent) and labor income (64.4 percent).

The report also examined retail’s economic impact for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The states with the largest total number of retail establishments in 2022 were California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Georgia.

The report was released in advance of NRF’s fourth annual State of Retail and the Consumer virtual discussion on the health of the American consumer, the US economy, and the retail industry.

Read the full report here.

Loss Prevention Magazine updates delivered to your inbox

Get the free daily newsletter read by thousands of loss prevention professionals, security, and retail management from the store level to the c-suite.

What's New

Digital Partners

Become a Digital Partner

Violence in the Workplace

Download this 34-page special report from Loss Prevention Magazine about types and frequency of violent incidents, impacts on employees and customers, effectiveness of tools and training, and much more.


View All | Sponsor a Webinar


View All | Submit a Whitepaper

LP Solutions

View All | Submit Your Content

Loss Prevention Media Logo

Stay up-to-date with our free email newsletter

The trusted newsletter for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management. Get the latest news, best practices, technology updates, management tips, career opportunities and more.

No, thank you.

View our privacy policy.