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American retail workers have now lost jobs for the fourth straight month, locking in a trend in which shoppers are spurning bricks-and-mortar shops and buying on-line.

The U.S. economy added 138,000 new jobs in May, and the unemployment rate dipped to 4.3%, according to a report issued Friday by the Labor Department. Markets won't be too disappointed with these headline numbers, even though job growth was below economist expectations by roughly 50,000.

Expand chart

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

But retail had another tough month: In retail, 6,100 people lost their jobs, adding up to 80,300 since the start of the year, the government said. This falls in line with the US and global shift to on-line shopping.

A level deeper: The trend occurs in one of the country's primary job sectors: some 15.9 million US workers are employed in retail, which has been a vital entry point for low-skilled workers, and a safe harbor for those who have fallen out of other jobs.

Be smart: If this trend continues, the U.S. worker may lose a vital step on the ladder of economic mobility. Workers often earn only minimum wage, but without bricks-and-mortar stores and malls, it's hard to see where those employed in them will find other work.

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

First look: Anita Dunn advises Dems on economy message for '22

Signs from a President Biden event yesterday in Kansas City, Mo. Photo: Chase Castor/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In a midterm preview, top Democratic strategist Anita Dunn advises the party's House and Senate members to frame Republicans "as being against the economic interests of working Americans."

What she's saying: "Explicitly framing Republicans as opposing policies to lower costs does better than simply framing Republicans as the 'party of no,'" Dunn, White House senior adviser until August, writes in the memo.

JPMorgan: "Full global recovery" in 2022

Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

JPMorgan Chase Global Research says in a forecast to clients: "2022 will be the year of a full global recovery, an end of the global pandemic, and a return to normal conditions we had prior to the COVID-19 outbreak."

The big picture: The bullish report sees "a return of global mobility, and a release of pent-up demand from consumers (e.g. travel, services)."

Inside Trump's hunt for "disloyal" Republicans

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Donald Trump and his associates are systematically reshaping the Republican Party, working to install hand-picked loyalists across federal and state governments and destroy those he feels have been disloyal, sources close to the former president tell Axios.

Why it matters: If most or all of Trump’s candidates win, he will go into the 2024 election cycle with far more people willing to do his bidding who run the elections in key states.