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According to Business Insider, more than 6,000 retail stores closed in 2017. Some of the stores, including Toys “R” Us, Payless Shoes, Gymboree and Rue 21, filed for bankruptcy. Others, such as The Limited and Radio Shack, simply shut down. Even Walmart, which seemed to convey positive news by giving its employees raises in early 2018, also eliminated thousands of jobs by shutting down hundreds of Sam’s Club stores. Overall, retail was one of the biggest job losers in 2017—nationwide, retail employment fell by more than 36,000 jobs.

What accounts for this downward trend? Although many would quickly point to the convenience and ease of online shopping, we propose that there are other factors at work. Specifically, retail sector jobs, particularly retail sector jobs in New York state, are under threat from the aggregate effect of increasing government regulations.

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