Women have disproportionately felt the effects of the ongoing “retail apocalypse,” as traditional brick-and-mortar retailers cut jobs and close stores amid sagging sales.
Retailers cut roughly 129,000 net jobs belonging to women from November 2016 to November 2017, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research said, citing U.S. Department of Labor Statistics. Despite that negative trend, men gained 106,000 retail industry jobs over the same period.
The cuts had the largest impact on women working in general merchandise or department stores. Women lost roughly 161,000 jobs in that retail sector from October 2016 to October 2017, while men gained 87,800 jobs. The retail job losses for women mark the longest stretch of declines in the industry since the Great Recession in the late 2000s, the IWPR said.
Women working in other industries have fared far better over the last year. The educational and health services sector has added 143,000 jobs year-over-year, while the leisure and hospitality industry has added 109,000 paying jobs for women.
Abercrombie & Fitch, CVS, J. Crew and Macy’s are just a few prominent retailers who have closed stores this year amid a changing retail landscape. Brick-and-mortar retailers are pivoting toward new business practices as store foot traffic declines and more customers turn to e-commerce options like Amazon to do their shopping.