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Retailers: A Drag on Job Growth


Store sales are up. The job market is improving. Oddly, analysts say, retailers aren’t hiring.

Jobs growth slowed significantly in March, according to the latest data released by the Labor Department Friday. Jobs excluding agriculture grew by 120,000 last month — half the growth in February — the first time since November 2011 that job growth came in below 200,000. And, while store sales appear encouraging partly due to a warm winter and Easter falling two weeks earlier than last year, according to results released this week, jobs growth last month slowed significantly  in that sector. The Gap and Target showed improvements, while CostCo and teen fashion outlet Buckle fared less well. Meanwhile, jobless claims data released Thursday showed numbers fell to the lowest level in nearly four years last week.

So why aren’t retailers hiring?

Big box and department stores have been employing stricter control of inventories instead of new workers, economists say. They’re also demanding higher productivity from existing workers. This shift “has long term implications for employment: fewer retail workers and less square footage,” says Patrick O’Keefe, director of economic research at J.H. Cohn consultants in Roseland, N.J. They’re also centralizing checkouts and introducing self-service machines, says independent retail consultant Jeff Green, which means a longer walk for shoppers in search of a till and less floor personnel.

Retail-sector job opportunities keep shrinking. In the five years prior to the recession (2003-2007), stores accounted for 13.6% of all private sector jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics; but during the jobs recovery – which began in earnest in March 2010 — the retail sector has only provided 9% of the total private sector gains. While auto and gasoline sales have shown some momentum in recent months, “recovery in the rest of the retail sector has been rather tepid,” O’Keefe says.

Also See:

Department stores also appear to be experiencing a choppy recovery. During February, retail trade lost 33,800 jobs in March after losing 7,400 jobs in February — on a seasonally adjusted basis or taking into account the holiday sales. Jobs plummeted by 32,300 at general merchandise stores and by 21,000 at department stores, after falling by 35,400 and 25,000 respectively in February. But sporting, book and music stores added 1,200 jobs last month after adding 12,400 jobs in February. Investment blogger Andy Nyquist says warm weather has encouraged people to bulk up on their outdoor equipment and sports goods.  “It’s one of the many benefits of an early spring,” he says.

Still, with tentative signs of a jobs recovery underway, others say it’s too soon to know if the retail sector will under-perform the overall jobs market throughout 2012. If department stores shed more jobs in the months ahead, it may reflect more seismic changes in how people shop, says Betsey Stevenson, assistant professor of business and public policy in The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. “For instance, I rarely shop in department stores anymore because I almost exclusively at discount retailers, Amazon, and boutiques.”


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    • By WebOsPublisher

      Disable the search button in Android – Stack Overflow
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      Disable the search button in Android
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      I have a dialog in an Android app that I don’t want the user to be able to cancel. Using .setCancelable(false) disables the back button, but pressing the search button still cancels the dialog. I saw this question which told me that I should include
      public boolean onSearchRequested()
      return false;

      But I’m still able to cancel the dialog with the search button. Here’s my code:
      public class TestActivity extends Activity
      /** Called when the activity is first created. */
      public void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState)

      public boolean onSearchRequested()
      return false;

      protected Dialog onCreateDialog(int id)
      final AlertDialog.Builder builder = new AlertDialog.Builder(this);
      .setPositiveButton(“Ok”, new DialogInterface.OnClickListener()
      public void onClick(DialogInterface dialog, int id)
      // nothing

      return builder.create();

      share|improve this question
      Mar 23 at 0:06
      93% accept rate
      This question appears to have been answered:… – mah Mar 23 at 0:09
      4 Answers
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      @Benh You need this code to set for your Key Listener for Dialog
      Add Below code in your Activity Class
      OnKeyListener keylistener=new DialogInterface.OnKeyListener()
      public boolean onKey(DialogInterface dialog, int keyCode, KeyEvent event)
      if (keyCode == KeyEvent.KEYCODE_SEARCH $$ event.getRepeatCount() == 0)
      return true; //we stop begin cancel of dialog or Progressbar

      return false;

      try this above thing in your dialog hope that will work for you.
      share|improve this answer
      Mar 23 at 6:06
      up vote
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      I disable search button by overriding progress dialog. I create unnamed class and override method onSearchRequest() . And this is working for me.
      I use this:
      progressDialog = new ProgressDialog(Activity.this)
      public boolean onSearchRequested()
      return true;

      instead code:
      progressDialog = new ProgressDialog(Activity.this);
      share|improve this answer
      Jul 23 at 13:35
      up vote
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      You simply need to listen for search button presses and do nothing when they are hit.
      public boolean onKeyDown(int keycode, KeyEvent e)
      case KeyEvent.KEYCODE_SEARCH:
      return true;

      return super.onKeyDown(keycode, e);

      If this doesn’t work for your Activity class then you’ll probably need to create a subclass of Dialog and implement the onKeyDown method for your dialog class.
      share|improve this answer
      Mar 23 at 0:21
      Mar 23 at 0:09
      Thanks, but this isn’t working for me. I replaced the onSearchRequested function in my code with this code, except that I removed the break; statement because Eclipse gave me an unreachable code error. My dialog can still be dismissed by pressing the search button. – BenH Mar 23 at 0:17
      Hmm.. ok then you probably need to create a subclass of Dialog and override its onKeyDown method – slayton Mar 23 at 0:21
      up vote
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      public boolean onKeyDown(int keyCode, KeyEvent event)
      return false;
      return super.onKeyDown(keyCode, event);

      share|improve this answer
      Mar 23 at 5:21
      Harsh Dev Chandel
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    • By WebOsPublisher

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    • retail employers are a scourge. they suck!!!

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