14181 Fri, 04/04/2008 - 11:59am
WASHINGTON–The March unemployment rate for the retail and wholesale trades remained steady at 4.9 percent, although compared with the same month a year ago, the jobless rate in this combined sector rose slightly from 4.4 percent.
The relatively steady rate compared positively with the situation for the economy as a whole, which saw unemployment rise to 5.1 percent from 4.8 percent in February.
In subsectors related to home products, furniture and home furnishings stores shed 5,000 jobs over the month, and around 10,000 compared with March 2007. Electronics and appliance stores lost 1,000 positions monthly, and more than 12,000 yearly.
Department stores and mass merchants dropped around 4,600 jobs over the month, and 5,100 over the year.
Non-store retailers, such as home television shopping shows and Web-only shopping sites, saw no change since February, but lost about 3,000 jobs on a year-over-year basis.