What Do Beer and Bridal Dresses Have in Common? Retail Job Seekers Need to Know

female bridal store employee making adjustment to bridal gown
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So you’ve probably heard about the big, scary retail apocalypse right?

Major companies are closing stores, robots are coming for our jobs and we’re all flailing around like inflatable tube men at a used car dealership.

All right, I should probably calm down. And you should too, since there were some brick-and-mortar stores that actually added jobs last year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 2017.

Unfortunately, to do a deep dive into the specific types of retailers doing the hiring, we could only look at the latest available numbers from November. But comparing that month to the same month in 2016 will give you a good idea of where the jobs are shaking out in the wild world of retail.

Some of the top stores in terms of job growth, like home centers and furniture warehouses, likely track with the housing market, which has been on fire since its collapse a decade ago.

Others, like pet stores, might follow the booming economy as a whole. (Have you considered adding a fur baby to your family this year? Come on, you can afford it.)

Of course, if you’re not into shirt-folding or cash-register-jockeying, The Penny Hoarder Jobs page on Facebook always has interesting work-from-home opportunities.

But when it comes to retail, these 10 types of stores were hiring in 2017 — and you should keep an eye on each one in 2018.

These Were the Best Retail Stores for Job Growth in 2017

While it’s true the overall brick-and-mortar retail industry lost 63,600 jobs between November 2016 and the same month last year, it doesn’t mean every type of store was a loser. In fact, there were plenty of winners.

We only looked at common, traditional brick-and-mortar businesses. So while used car dealerships saw a 4.1% jump in jobs, they aren’t your classic storefront style of retail.

Here are 10 types of traditional retail stores that actually added jobs last year:

1. Bridal, Lingerie and Swimwear Stores

Change in Jobs: 8.1%

Overall Jobs Added: 9,500

2. Gas Stations and Truck Stops

Change in Jobs: 7.7%

Overall Jobs Added: 8,200

3. Cosmetic and Beauty Stores

Change in Jobs: 5.5%

Overall Jobs Added: 7,800

4. Trophy and Art Collection Dealers (and Other Miscellaneous Stores)

Change in Jobs: 4.7%

Overall Jobs Added: 9,000

5. Pet Stores and Craft Supplies

Change in Jobs: 3.6%

Overall Jobs Added: 11,500

6. Hobby, Toy and Game Stores

Change in Jobs: 3%

Overall Jobs Added: 11,500

7. Home Centers

Change in Jobs: 2.4%

Overall Jobs Added: 16,900

8. Meat and Seafood Markets

Change in Jobs: 2.4%

Overall Jobs Added: 1,600

9. Liquor Stores

Change in Jobs: 2.4%

Overall Jobs Added: 3,700

10. Furniture Stores

Change in Jobs: 2.4%

Overall Jobs Added: 5,400

Jobs are well and good, but what about that all-important paycheck? Say no more, fam.

The 5 Highest Paying Brick-and-Mortar Retail Jobs in 2017

If you’re looking for a high-paying job in retail (which is sometimes hard to come by) consider checking out one of these types of stores this year.

We looked at the latest available hourly wage data to find the five types of retail stores that paid the most in November (again, the latest numbers available).

1. Jewelry and Luggage Stores

Hourly Pay: $23.28

2. Men’s Clothing Stores

Hourly Pay: $23.13

3. Carpet and Flooring Retailers

Hourly Pay: $22.62

4. Furniture Stores

Hourly Pay: $22.46

5. Supplement, Hearing Aid or Other Health Care Stores

Hourly Pay: $21.11

So there you have it. The retail apocalypse may be crippling the industry as a whole, but some brick-and-mortar stores are weathering the storm. For now.

Alex Mahadevan is a data journalist at The Penny Hoarder. He worked at a brick-and-mortar pet store for four years and was only bitten by a guinea pig twice.

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