Economy sputters along, says NRF
In a statement following the recent ho-hum employment situation report, the National Retail Federation (NRF) CEO said the “economy continues to sputter along.”
NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Employers and retailers are adding to their payrolls and ranks, but still remain guarded. The business community is hiring yet waiting for stronger signs of sustained economic growth before extending too many job offers.”
NRF calculated retail industry job gains at 43,600 in August, with marked increases in clothing, general merchandise and electronics stores.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics employment situation report showed that the economy added 169,000 jobs in August, which lowered the unemployment rate to 7.3%.
“While the jobs numbers weren’t as strong as anticipated, they indicate a more positive trend,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “We are expecting further signs of strengthening in the second half of the year. Retailers are making headway but challenges remain. Slow wage growth and downward jobs revisions continue to indicate a reluctant economy.”
Susan Carter takes on CFO role at Ingersoll-Rand
Ingersoll-Rand appointed Susan Carter as senior VP and chief financial officer, effective Sept. 27.
Carter joins the company from KBR, Inc., where she served for four years as executive vice president and chief financial officer.
Prior to KBR, Carter held the position of executive vice president and chief financial officer at Lennox International Inc. Her 30 years of experience includes prior financial leadership positions at Cummins Inc., Honeywell International, Crane Company and DeKalb Corporation.
Ingersoll-Rand brands include Club Car, Schlage, Thermo King and Trane.
Carter succeeds Steve Shawley who, as announced earlier this year, will stay with the company during a transition period and retire before the end of the year. Shawley has been with Ingersoll Rand and Thermo King, a brand of Ingersoll Rand, for 20 years, serving as chief financial officer for the last five years.
“Sue’s experience for the past nine years as a public company chief financial officer and 30 years in relevant diversified manufacturing and service environments make her a strong fit for Ingersoll Rand,” said Michael W. Lamach, chairman and chief executive officer.
Carter will report to Lamach as part of his executive leadership team and relocate to Davidson, N.C.
Readers Respond to living-wage bill
The mayor of Washington, D.C., is considering a proposal that hike the miminum wage in the district for big retailers.
The plan calls for a $12.50 minimum wage – well above the current $8.25 – for employees of companies with $1 billion or more in sales and stores measuring at least 75,000 square feet.
Here’s how HCN readers weighed in:
• “I would wager most independents are paying close to if not more than this now for their frontline people. It would be an interesting comparison.”
• “Electing people that insist on incredible largess seems to be the trend these days. Wages are a function of the marketplace, not government. If enacted, how will this added burden on brick & mortar retailers affect the consumer’s desire to purchase more products from online sellers, who are unencumbered by the added cost?”
— Michael Slauson
• “I have always felt that wages should be based on mutual agreement between employer and employee — not mandated by an enforced “minimums” structure.”