The National Retail Federation (NRF) has sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to call for action to support industry jobs.
NRF members said they want Obama to highlight three issues during his State of the Union address later in January, including sales tax fairness legislation, corporate tax reform and how to help retailers lower cost and increase hiring.
Matthew Shay, president and chief executive officer of the NRF, said retail is the main indicator of the nation's economy.
"When Americans are out of work consumers stop spending, retailers stop ordering from manufacturers, and the economy grinds to a halt," Shay noted. "To gauge the impact of any economic policy enacted in Washington, one need look no further than the cash register at any Main Street store in America."
Meanwhile, there is some good news on the retail job front for Home Depot. Bloomberg Businessweek reports the home improvement giant wants to accelerate the hiring of more than 70,000 temporary workers ahead of the spring buying season.
The company said it will begin adding seasonal workers as early as February in Florida, as it looks to compete with Lowes, Wal-Mart and independent garden centers when the weather begins to warm across the U.S.