To honor and recognize the retail industry’s significance to our state, Washington Governor Jay Inslee has proclaimed September as Careers in Retail Month. The proclamation is Inslee’s fourth such annual recognition of retailers and their employees across the state.
The retail industry offers a vast array of careers, and it contributes substantially to the state’s economy. Approximately 385,000 people across the state are employed by the industry, contributing nearly $24 billion in annual wages.
Record-breaking taxable retail sales receipts account for 42% of the state government’s total sales tax collections. The ever-evolving digital transformation in how Washingtonian’s shop has also created new career opportunities, as well as flexibility in workers’ schedules, and place of work. In addition, nearly two-thirds of retail managers have been offered specialized training opportunities which contributed to their career advancement.
“Currently, retail businesses are the fourth largest employer of immigrants, and people of color account for over a third of the retail salesforce,” said Renée Sunde, President and CEO of the Washington Retail Association. “Our industry is dedicated to racial justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and three-quarters of job seekers prefer to work in a diverse workforce.”
Sunde asserted, “Our industry plays a significant role in the economy and the lives of families across our state. We are pleased to receive this recognition from the Governor.”