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Retail Sales Workers Job Outlook

Employment of retail salespersons is expected to grow 17 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Employment of retail salespersons has traditionally grown with the overall economy, and this trend is expected to continue. Population growth will increase retail sales and demand for these workers.

Although consumers are increasing their online retail shopping, they will continue to do most of their retail shopping in stores. Retail salespersons will be needed in stores to help customers and complete sales.

Among the various retail industries, other general merchandise stores, which include warehouse clubs and supercenters, are expected to see strong job growth. These large stores sell a wide range of goods from a single location. Thus, employment in the warehouse clubs and supercenters industry is expected to grow 51 percent during the next decade.

However, employment in department stores has declined in recent years and will likely continue to be weak. 

Employment of parts salespersons is expected to grow 16 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. People are keeping their cars longer and are buying new cars less often. Older cars need to be serviced more frequently, creating demand for car parts and parts salespersons.

Job Prospects

Many workers leave this occupation, which means there will be a large number of job openings. This large number of job openings combined with the large size of the occupation should result in many employment opportunities. 

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition