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Private Equity Has Killed 600,000 Retail Jobs, Study Says

Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg
Updated on Inc., landlords who charge sky-high rents, brands that fail to adapt. The carnage in the retail industry has been blamed on all of them. Now Wall Street is being blamed too.

Over the past decade, 597,000 U.S. employees working for retailers owned by private equity firms and hedge funds have lost their jobs, while the sector as a whole added more than a million positions, according to a report by the Center for Popular Democracy and the Private Equity Stakeholder Project. The workers advocacy groups estimate that another 728,000 “indirect jobs” have disappeared at suppliers and local businesses, bringing the total casualties to about 1.3 million.