The US government shutdown is putting thousands of retail jobs at stake and may jeopardize the potential $600bn which was expected to be made in Christmas sales this year, the National Retail Federation has warned.
The group, which says 42 million Americans work in retail, has called on the Congress and the Administration to end the budget impasse and urged both political parties to immediately pass a funding bill so that federal employees and contractors can get back to work.
In an open letter, NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said the partial shutdown has already “adversely impacted” consumer spending and depressed consumer confidence.
The Census Bureau has also been forced to delay employment and retail sales reports.
“For retailers – who represent the sector of the American economy most closely tied to consumer attitudes – these numbers are deeply disturbing,” Shay said.
“Moreover, since the very modest growth the US economy has experienced following the 2008 recession has been attributed to the willingness of the American consumer to keep shopping, a lasting decline in consumer confidence is likely to translate into increased unemployment and slower growth in coming months.”
Over the coming days, NRF will be coordinating with retailers and small business owners and engaging members and grassroots advocates around its call for the government to reopen.