How to get jobs growing again is an issue that is front and center on the minds of retailers, according to panelist speaking at the National Retail Federation'sannual convention.
Allen Questrom, former CEO of JC Penney and a member of Wal-Mart Stores' board, said the answer to the economy's troubles is: "jobs, jobs, and more jobs."
Howard Levine, chairman and CEO of Family Dollar , also stressed the need for more job creation.
"I think this economy is still very fragile...I don't think this system can sustain another shock," Levine said.
According to Moody's Economy.com Chief Economist Mark Zandi, the retail industry has been helped by job growth that sprang from the government's stimulus programs.
Zandi remains optimistic about the potential for further growth, but agrees businesses must step up and begin hiring again.
"The economy is measurably better today than it was a year ago and it will be measurably better a year from now than it is today," Zandi said.
Retailers have also been weathering the worst recession in decades, in part by keeping a careful eye on inventories.