News Column

Job Front: Market Shows Signs of Strength in Retail Sector, Analyst Says

Sept. 17, 2012

Darrell Smith

retail jobs

Solid retail back-to-school hiring nationwide is giving one jobs-watcher hope for stronger employment results locally ahead of the holiday season.

Gautam Godwani, CEO of Sunnyvale-based online jobs site, likes what he's seen so far.

"Where we are with the retail industry, we're seeing a nice uptick," he said.

SimplyHired's recently released U.S. Employment Outlook showed retail industry job growth nationwide in August had increased by 11.6 percent month-over-month, including a 10.6 percent month-over-month increase for sales staff in August as retailers gear up for the fall.

Job postings of all types in Sacramento fell by 4 percent month-over-month in August, but Godwani said retail results nationwide could well be reflected in Sacramento's retail sector this fall.

"You're going to see some uptick because of back-to-school," he said. But, "when you look at the Sacramento retail industry, the market's doing better here," Godwani said. "You're seeing it beginning to flourish in an area that's been hard-hit."

He pointed to a slowly improving economy and a more sure-footed consumer this year than last.

"We've seen holiday hiring trend in the right direction," he said. "It's a combination of consumer confidence and the economy getting a bit better. It's moving in the right direction, but it's a question of speed."

Sacramento's job market remains highly competitive, according to SimplyHired, with six job seekers for every posting.

But Godwani said demand remains high for workers in the technology sector, and he sees the financial sector returning to life as homebuyers enticed by low interest rates begin to re-enter the housing market.

"In general, workers who have higher qualifications are going to see jobs open up," he said.

Three of the five companies with the most Sacramento-area job postings represent health care, technology and retail: Sutter Health, Intel and Ross Stores.

It's a good sign, Godwani said.

"In the near term, we see Sacramento going in the right direction," he said.

Professionals targeted

California Employers Association's Professional Edge workshops open a new slate of sessions this week in Roseville, Auburn and Sacramento.

The free workshops on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are geared to getting out-of-work professionals back into the workforce.

The weekly meetings focus on job search strategies and leadership skills.

For more information on the programs, locations and times, call the association's Gavan Ambrosini at (916) 921-1312.

Job fair, campus tour

Center for Employment Training's 2012 Job Fair is Thursday at its Sacramento campus.

Job seekers can meet Sacramento-area employers and receive tours of the CET campus at the free event from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., 8376 Fruitridge Road.

A number of employers and representatives will be on hand including AAA, Aflac Health Net, JobLink, J&L Staffing and Select Staffing.

Computers will also be available to job seekers to access job application and company websites.

Source: (c)2012 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.). Distributed by MCT Information Services

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