Posts tagged with "National Retail Federation"

Judge blocks large parts of Trump’s temporary work visa ban

October 5, 2020

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White of the Northern District of California temporarily lifted a visa ban on a large number of work permits on Thursday, October 1—undercutting a measure that the Trump Administration had promised would protect American jobs in a pandemic-decimated economy, The Boston Globe reports.

The jurist said his ruling applied to members of organizations that sued the Administration—the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; National Association of Manufacturers; National Retail Federation; TechNet, a technology industry group; and Intrax, which sponsors cultural exchanges.

Paul Hughes, an attorney for the associations, said the U.S. Chamber of Commerce alone has “more than 300,000 members of all shapes and sizes across the United States,” according to the Globe.

White, ruling in Oakland, California, said his order didn’t extend beyond those groups but noted that they comprise “hundreds of thousands of American businesses of all sizes from a cross-section of economic sectors,” including Microsoft  and Amazon.

The injunction, which lifts the ban while the case is being litigated, is at least a temporary setback for the Administration’s efforts to limit legal immigration during the coronavirus outbreak.

White, an appointee of President George W. Bush, said President Donald Trump likely acted outside bounds of his authority.

The judge wrote “there must be some measure of constraint on Presidential authority in the domestic sphere in order not to render the executive an entirely monarchical power in the immigration context, an area within clear legislative prerogative.”

The ban, which took effect in June and is scheduled to last until the end of this year, applies to:

  • H-1B visas, which are widely used by major American and Indian technology companies;
  • H-2B visas for nonagricultural seasonal workers;
  • J visas for cultural exchanges; and
  • L visas for managers and other key employees of multinational corporations.

It was the second time in three days that White had blocked a significant change on immigration. On Tuesday, he halted major fee increases for citizenship and other benefits three days before they were to take effect.

The Homeland Security and Justice departments did not immediately respond to requests for comments Thursday night, the Globe said..

The National Association of Manufacturers said the ruling will help with “crucial, hard-to-fill jobs to support economic recovery, growth and innovation when we most need it.”

“Today’s decision is a temporary win for manufacturers committed to building that innovation in the United States,” said Linda Kelly, the group’s senior vice president and general counsel. “A long-term win for manufacturers requires policymakers to support meaningful reforms to our immigration laws that recognize the critical link between smart immigration policy and America’s competitive advantage.”

Research contact: @BostonGlobe

Retail jobs jumped in November

December 11, 2017

Retail industry employment increased by an unusually high 12,900 jobs in November over October, the National Retail Federation (NRF) revealed on November 8.

That number excludes automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants, the trade association said. Overall, the economy added 228,000 jobs, the Labor Department said.

“This was one of the strongest gains we’ve seen all year,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz commented. “You expect employment to be up during the holiday season and retailers are expecting strong holiday sales with related job growth, but overall growth in the economy has to be recognized here as well. We’re also seeing new jobs in other sectors of the economy, particularly industrial, and that means more demand for retail goods and a need for more retail workers.”

The November increase compares with a monthly loss of 10,300 jobs in October, although that figure came after a monthly increase of 10,600 jobs in September. The three-month moving average in November showed an increase of 4,400 jobs.

With the numbers from November now in, retailers’ annual hiring of temporary holiday workers is on track to reach the high end of NRF’s forecast of between 500,000 and 550,000 positions. NRF forecasts that this year’s holiday sales will grow between 3.6 and 4 percent.

Employment increased in most retail sectors during November but there were decreases in electronics and appliances stores, clothing and clothing accessories stores, and non-store sales, which includes online sales.

Kleinhenz noted that retail job numbers reported by the Labor Department “do not provide an accurate picture of the industry”— because they count only employees who work in stores, while excluding retail workers in other parts of the business such as corporate headquarters, distribution centers, call centers and innovation labs. Warehouse and storage employment, for example, was up by 8,100 jobs in November but the positions do not count as retail jobs even if the workers are employed by retailers.

Economy-wide, average hourly earnings in November increased by 64 cents (2.5%) year over year. The Labor Department said the unemployment rate was 4.1 percent, unchanged from October.

Research contact: shearmanc@nrf.com