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New Deputy Report Highlights U.S. Retail Employment Changes in a Slowing Economy

New Deputy Report Highlights U.S. Retail Employment Changes in a Slowing Economy

Deputy CEO urges retail businesses to address employee vulnerabilities as job shortages remain high

SAN FRANCISCO – March 20, 2023 Deputy, a global leader in smart scheduling and workforce management for shift workers and businesses, today released the findings of The Big Shift: U.S. Retail Report 2023, where more than 13 million hours worked by over 24,000 shift workers were evaluated to uncover how the retail industry is faring three years since the pandemic began. In 2022, employment in the retail industry grew by 5% from its pre-pandemic employment levels in 2019. 

“Half a billion shifts have been scheduled using Deputy – we really sit at the heart of the labor markets,” said Silvija Martincevic, CEO at Deputy. “The job market is tight, and competition for workers is stiff. Retail businesses that provide their employees with adequate support, including resources to enhance their performance, monitor their level of engagement, and prioritize their well-being, are more likely to retain a skilled workforce.”

Conducted in partnership with labor economist, Shashi Karu, the report analyzes current shift-equity trends across the retail industry through the lens of gender, generation, and geography.

High-level findings and data from Deputy’s The Big Shift: U.S. Retail Report 2023 include:  

  • More predictive scheduling laws will be implemented to retain workers: The U.S. has a lower female labor force participation rate at 51.7% compared to other developed countries in the U.K. and Europe due to poorer childcare provision, constraints on competing caregiving responsibilities, and fewer restraints on scheduling fair work hours. Combined improvement in work hour reliability and increasing access to affordable childcare are likely to benefit retail workers and the average retail business. 
  • Increase in the number of older workers: The tight labor market has caused an uptick in the proportion of older workers as it has become challenging to recruit and keep staff. From 2020 to 2022, the proportion of Baby Boomer shift work hours rose from 20 to 23 percent. Many went into early retirement during the pandemic and are re-entering the workforce due to the current financial climate.
  • The retail sector continues to be impacted by work-from-home culture: With an increasing number of consumers working from home, retail spending opportunities are moving away from city centers to the suburbs. Major cities like New York City and San Francisco have experienced declines in workplace activity by 50% and 40%, respectively. 
  • Young-growth markets play a critical role in economic recovery: Texas, Florida, Nevada, and Georgia are at the forefront of retail employment growth. Florida and Nevada in particular have seen the strongest employment growth levels, increasing by 5% in retail employment compared to pre-pandemic levels.
  • Mobile apps and social media are driving the growth of "digitally influenced" in-store sales: Consumers still place high value on physically interacting with products but will rely on social media and online searching for recommendations. Today, 62% of consumers research products on the web but buy or pick-up in store (BOPIS).

“Deputy data allows you to see engagement at a societal level,” said Karu. “It’s crucial we identify these trends to address challenges faced by these essential workers. With Deputy, business owners can access valuable insights to make better decisions in favor of both their workers and their business' bottom line. Deputy simplifies the employee management process, removes unconscious bias from scheduling, and empowers shift workers with more flexibility and autonomy to manage their own schedules.”

Download The Big Shift: U.S. Retail Report 2023 below. 

The-Big-Shift-Retail-2023 (1).pdf 10 MB


Kendal Pektas
Kendal Pektas Senior Manager, Public Relations

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