Holiday Hiring

2013 Holiday Hiring Update: Holiday Retail Hiring Down from Record Levels

After getting off to its strongest start in 14 years, the pace of holiday hiring in November slipped below last year’s level, suggesting that retailers may be reining in expectations for a bountiful Christmas selling season.

Retail employment expanded by 471,000 in November, which is down 4.7 percent from a year ago, when retailers hired a record 494,400 workers, according to an analysis of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ non-seasonally adjusted employment data by global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

October Holiday Hiring Best in 14 Years

Holiday hiring got off to its strongest start in 14 years, as retail employment grew by 159,500* in October, according to an analysis of the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data by global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The 159,500 net new jobs in retail last month marks a 6.7 percent increase from October 2012, when retailers increased their payrolls by 149,400. It was the most new hires in the first month of the annual holiday hiring period since 1999, when retail employment expanded by 172,200 in October.

Retailers Opening Thanksgiving Day

In its annual holiday hiring forecast, global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas predicted holiday hiring to remain flat or decline slightly from last year’s record levels. However, even with a slight decline in overall hiring, national retail chains are expected to hire tens of thousands of seasonal workers across the country. Indeed, retailers and other seasonal hiring companies such as transportation companies like UPS and FedEx have announced plans to hire 464,000 seasonal workers, according to initial tracking by Challenger.

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