The National Retail Federation (NRF) launched a new campaign this month designed the show the impact of retail on the U.S. economy.  The campaign, “Retail Means Jobs”, aims to show that “[t]he [retail] industry fuels innovations that are empowering consumers and transforming the way we live, work, and play”.  According to NRF President & CEO Matt Shay, the “intensive campaign includes grassroots activation of retail businesses, employees, and customers across the nation.”

One aspect of the campaign its the interactive website, which can be found at  Visitors can click on their state and their Congressional district to find out the economic impact of retail in their state, including the number of jobs created, amount of income created, and the total impact on the state’s gross domestic product.  After viewing the data visitors can share it via social media and specifically send their message to their Senators or the White House.

The NRF used a study by PriceWaterhouseCooper LLP entitled The Economic Impact of the U.S. Retail Industry to collect their economic impact data.  According to their site, retailers directly employ 28.1 million American, making them the number one private sector employer.  The sector also generates $1.49 trillion in wages and benefits, paying 17% of the nation’s total wages, salaries, and benefits in 2009.

“The retail industry supports a quarter of our nation’s jobs and will continue to be at the forefront of our economic recovery,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “This campaign aims to ensure that we do everything possible as a nation to support the vitality of the retail sector, in order to create jobs and continue to foster U.S. innovation and competitiveness.”