The retail and adjacent service sector employs 48 million Americans and this leaves a large footprint in the nation’s economy. With low barriers to entry and potential for advancement, there is opportunity to engage workers and positively impact regional retail economies. This initiative seeks to form industry partnerships in the sector and promote and advance the needs of frontline workers.
Despite the varied geographies, report findings across the three regions show that retail and adjacent sectors play a critical role in each of these economies, employing anywhere between 11% to 23% of workers. Youth, women, and people of color disproportionally hold entry-level positions with lower pay and limited opportunities for advancement. The reports indicate that much work needs to be done to strengthen career pathways and build a talent pipeline that employers want and need but there are a significant number of job and career pathways available pending strengthened collaboration and innovative strategies.