The Labor Department reported an unexpected loss of 20,000 retail positions during the holiday shopping season, bringing the number of jobs shed in the sector last year to nearly 70,000. The downward trend in retail jobs is believed to be a result of the ongoing shift to e-commerce sales.
“I was surprised by the retail decline,” Cramer said on “Squawk on the Street,” “because it does say that the Amazon ‘Death Star’ is accelerating.”
Cramer describes Amazon as the Death Star, the evil Empire’s battle station in the “Star Wars” franchise with the power to destroy entire planets.
“That’s incredible. At this point in the economic expansion, with so many people having jobs, you would think they’d be adding people like mad but they’re just trying to figure out which stores can stay in business,” said Cramer, host of CNBC’s “Mad Money.”
Online giant Amazon has been aggressive in expanding its retail muscle, including through partnerships and major acquisitions.
Meanwhile, Sears announced Thursday that it will be closing more than 100 additional stores this year. Macy‘s also revealed the locations of 11 stores that it will be closing in 2018.
“The jobs are shifting,” Cramer said. “We need truck drivers, we need fewer people in retail.”