Business for Cameron Smith & Associates (CSA), a recruiter for NWA's retail supplier industry, is back to pre-pandemic levels.
Why it matters: Recruiting within the retail supplier industry is a sign of optimism in the economy.
Driving the news: Retail sales in April were flat, but in March they were up more than 10%, which was the largest gain in the previous 10 months, reports Axios' Hope King.
- Walmart's recent first quarter earnings beat forecasts.
Context: Cameron Smith's initial focus when he founded the company in 1994 was on the supplier industry, though it now accounts for between 30% to 40% of his business.
- CSA is still a top recruiter for the industry, serving an estimated 1,600 suppliers and 400 "suppliers to suppliers," like design, packaging and display companies.
- CSA's placements plummeted by 85% in the second quarter of 2020 as companies everywhere had hiring freezes.
- But as summer wore on, businesses started filling empty spots again, keeping recruiters busy.
Smith's business, which has diversified into other fields including construction and international C-suite placements, is on track for a record year, he said.
What to watch: Walmart's annual shareholders' meeting is Wednesday, which may give some indication of how its leaders are thinking about the rest of 2021.
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