Reacting to President Barack Obama's State of the Union Address, the National Retail Foundation (NFR) said it welcomed the president's emphasis on job creation. The president's focus on job creation came on the heels of an announcement by retail giant JC Penny that it was slashing its workforce to save money.

NFR President and chief executive officer Matthew Shay said that while the nation's retailers stand ready to get more Americans back to work, Washington must do more to encourage job growth.

"Retail and other service industries support far more jobs than manufacturing, and we need economic policy that supports all industries and doesn’t favor one sector of the economy over another," Shay added. "We hope ‘Made in America’ isn’t code for protectionist trade policies that only drive up prices for American consumers while doing little to create U.S. jobs."

Meanwhile, JC Penny said it was cutting its seasonal employees and some full-time workers as part of cost-cutting measures designed to overhaul the retailer's image, according to Bloomberg News.

Although the retailer has yet to say exactly how many positions would be eliminated, the chain said it planned to shift its focus from traditional sales and clearance events to offering everyday low prices.

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