Retailing Loses 38,100 Jobs

Job losses continue to rise nationally, but a look inside the retailing numbers indicates the auto industry is feeling the brunt of the pain. While another 38,100 jobs were slashed in retail in October, motor vehicle and parts dealers were responsible for nearly two thirds of the total. Still, October marks the 11th consecutive month of retail job reductions. Zappos, Circuit City, Ann Taylor and others are cutting back in preparation for a challenging holiday season.

The nation's unemployment rate climbed to a 14 year high of 6.5 percent in October according to data released by the Labor Department on November 7, 2008. October's retail job losses were above the industry's average monthly pace of 30,000 reductions so far this year.

While department stores and general merchandise stores lost about 18,000 jobs each, motor vehicle and parts dealers lost a staggering 21,400 jobs. Food and beverage stores lost 6,200 jobs.

Here are some of the latest retailers to announce plans to scale back on their workforce: Online shoes, clothing, bags and accessories retailer is laying off about 8 percent of its workforce of more than 1,000 employees to cut costs. According to Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, layoffs were in connection with a directive from stakeholder Sequoia Capital to "cut expenses as much as possible."

Ann Taylor: The woman's apparel chain eliminated 19 percent of its staff at its company headquarters in New York's Times Square. The company, however, announced it is yielding better-than-expected savings, enabling it to withstand the deepening recession.

OfficeMax: The office supplies retailer plans to cut 245 jobs to curtail expenses. OfficeMax plans to cut corporate and field management positions in its North America operation. The cuts are expected to save about $20 million in operating expenses.

Mattel: Famous maker of Barbie, Fisher Price and American Girl toys plans to cut about 1,000 positions, or about 3 percent of its world-wide employment because of the economic downturn. The company said the cuts will come from a combination of layoffs, attrition and retirements and will not affect holiday toy production.

Circuit City: The electronics chain, which recently announced it has filed for Chapter 11 protection, will cut about 17 percent of its domestic work force, which could affect up to 7,300 people.

DSW: More than 100 jobs will be cut as the discount shoe retailer which also announced that same store sales fell 4.1 percent during the third quarter. The company said it was laying off 82 employees in its headquarters and field leadership positions and will not fill another 16 vacant slots.

La-Z-Boy: In a series of cost-cutting moves, the retailer announced that 850 jobs will be eliminated. Employee headcount will be reduced by 10 percent, which will result in $1.5 million to $2.5 million in severance-related costs in the company's third quarter.

For more information on job losses that have hit the retail industry see:

Job Losses in Retail Hit 40,000
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