Despite a number of potential hurdles that include multiple trade wars and a partial-government shutdown, the economy is still in good shape. Unemployment in January was 4.0%, and the National Retail Federation expects it to dip to 3.5% by the end of the year. It also expects the U.S. gross domestic product to grow about 2.5% over 2018 and retail sales to rise 3.8% to 4.4% (with online sales forecast to grow up to 12%).

But to take advantage of the growing economy, retailers need to hire workers. That’s increasingly difficult when workers have access to a vast array of employment opportunities—in retail and elsewhere. That helps explain why 29% of retailers in a recent survey by organizational consultancy Korn Ferry said they’ve seen an increase in employee turnover since January 2018. And as retailers deal with rising costs (that often stem in part from the trade wars), they’re also having to boost wages. In fact, the same survey found that many merchants…


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