Roundup: US retail sales / Vaccine jobs / Small business survey

    Shopping soars: Those $600 stimulus checks got Americans shopping again. After three months of declines, retail sales soared a seasonally adjusted 5.3% in January from the month before, the Commerce Department said this morning. It was the biggest increase since June and much larger than the 1% rise Wall Street analysts had expected. See the report. 

    Free listings: LinkedIn is offering free job listings to organizations that are hiring for the COVID-19 vaccination effort, USA Today reports. The professional networking service announced Wednesday that it’s providing the service through May 15 to companies, governments and nonprofits that are hiring people such as pharmacists and nurses. The move comes after LinkedIn last year offered free job listings to medical providers that were rapidly staffing up in the early days of the pandemic to handle the surge of patients. Read the full story.

    Shrinking optimism: New data from H&R Block’s ongoing “Small Business Recovery Series” survey, reveals nearly half (47%) of small business owners are not optimistic about their businesses’ success in 2021, with more than 59% reporting less revenue than originally expected in 2020. Black business owners are experiencing even more prevalent and severe impacts from the pandemic according to those surveyed. The report found that more than half of Black-owned small businesses experienced at least a 50% decrease in revenue during the pandemic compared to only 37% among white business owners. See the report.