A recent article in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Monthly Labor Review by Michael D. McCall analyzes the impact of past recessions on retail trade employment since 1945. His findings reveal that a deeper decline in seasonally adjusted retail trade employment occurred in the most recent recession than in any of the 11 previous recessions. From December 2007 to June 2009, U.S. retail trade lost more than a million employees, for a 6.7 percent decline. The second largest loss occurred in the July 1990 to March 1991 recession; however, employee losses at that time totaled only 229,000, for a 1.7 percent decline.

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saleThe Great Recession had a greater impact on retail sales than the 2001 recession, and the recovery period was longer. For example, inflation-adjusted taxable retail sales in the Wichita MSA fell 5.13 percent in 2009, the year the Great Recession ended. But, inflation-adjusted taxable retail sales gained 0.34 percent in 2002, the year following the 2001 recession.

More analysis of the retail sales industry in the Wichita MSA is available in a new report released by The Center for Economic Development and Business Research.

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bagsA new study by the Center for Economic Development and Business Research, titled Retail Gap Analysis: Comparing retail trade activity by Kansas county, compares retail trade activity within a county to the retail trade activity in similar sized counties. The study includes the percentage of per capita taxable personal income captured by each Kansas county, as well as the retail sales pull factor. This report also provides the number of employees and total sales by industry code (North American Industrial Classification System, NAICS) for each county. 

Data used to assess the difference in employment and sales levels by county are from the National Establishment Data Time Series (NETS).  NETS uses both Walls & Associates and Dun and Bradstreet research and data.  The combination of the two databases creates a powerful dataset that corrects some of the common problems associated with publicly available data.  The dataset provides information at the individual business level.  

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