The centerpiece of this report, “Retail’s Opportunity: Exploring the Industry’s Impact on People and Places”, is an analysis of correlations between the retail industry and the Opportunity Index — Opportunity Nation’s annual composite measure at the state and county levels of economic, educational, and civic factors that expand opportunity. The research also explored analysis of the skills and experience that typically help retail workers advance within the industry. This research aimed to understand where retail workers come from and where they go in their careers and drew upon a database of 49 million resumes from CareerBuilder.com.
The main findings of our report are:
While millions of Americans work in retail, few stay in the same position over multiple job changes. Twenty-five percent of overall retail workers switched to another position when moving from their first job to their next one.
Retail workers who move up the ranks into management and supervisory positions do so in a variety of ways. Our research showed that one quarter of store managers came directly from lower-level sales jobs and related positions, but half came from other management-level posts, and moved laterally to their new spot in a different company.
Retail workers at all levels tend to move laterally within the industry but also beyond it—coming and going between a wide variety of positions ranging from retail to office jobs to manufacturing.
The research was conducted in collaboration with Measure of America and Economic Modeling, LLC (Emsi) and funded by the Walmart Foundation.
This report was made possible due to the generous support of the Walmart Foundation.