retail news in context, analysis with attitude

(Which do you want first? The bad news? Okay, here goes…)

Business Week reports that as the nation lost 651,000 jobs during February 2009, approximately 39,500 of those jobs were in retailing…the 13th straight month that the retail sector has lost jobs. That’s the bad news.

The good news: the magazine noted that “the pace of cuts appears to be moderating, another sign that the worst may be behind the industry.” The suggestion is that retailing is likely to bottom out first in the current recession, and could lead the way to any sort of recovery. According to the story, “February's losses were slightly lower than the revised 40,000 cuts in January and well below the 88,000 cuts in December and 91,000 in November, when retail job slashing hit a crescendo.”

KC's View:
One can only hope.

I think Mike Barnicle got it right last week on “Morning Joe” when he said that the nation needs to declare a “war on pessimism.”

We see those jobs numbers, and we can choose to be optimistic or pessimistic in our views.

Choose optimism. Pragmatic optimism, but optimism. (And I write these words as someone who said all last year that the nation was facing financial troubles and that we were in a recessionary environment even if the economists were in denial…and got roundly criticized for being too negative.)