In June, retail sales continued to increase, fueled by stimulus and savings. A portion of that increase comes from higher prices (due to supply-chain disruptions).
On the consumer front, return to work and school supports sales. June spending at apparel stores climbed 2.6 percent. After more than a year of lockdowns, people are updating wardrobe for themselves and their kids. As a result, the retail sector added 850,000 jobs in June, a 5.9% monthly gain.
On the labor front, labor shortage drives up cost of business. Nearly 2 million workers have yet to return to work due to child care challenges, but will be able to do so as schools reopen in the fall and the child care tax credit reaches parents.
Another 1.8 million workers are not returning to work thanks to $300/week boost in unemployment benefits. As these payments dry up on September 6, many Americans will reenter the job market and fill the retail jobs.