As Unemployment Stays Low, Grocery Stores Are Adding Workers

In November, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the food and beverage stores added 4,500 positions within a tight labor market, while bars and restaurants added 62,100 positions. The unemployment rate is holding steady at 3.7% as 263,000 non-farm jobs were added in November as well.

After losing 2,700 positions in October, the food-retailing industry increased payrolls in November, although job growth is still below what was seen earlier in the year. 3.2 million positions were counted in the grocers, with retail employment being down around 30,000 jobs as many retailers dropped positions. There have been about 62,000 jobs lost at retailers since August (roughly the same amount gained at bars and restaurants in November). That gain did help to bring bars and restaurants above their pre-pandemic numbers while grocery store employment is above its pre-pandemic level.

As inflation has affected food prices, this hasn’t hindered grocer sales as they remain steady and persistent amongst ever increasing everyday prices. Overall spending was up 8% at grocery stores looking at year-over-year data from October. Grocery inflation appears to be slowing down seeing a 12.4% annual rate, which is a decrease from Octobers 13%.