Retailers added 702,000 jobs for the holiday season in 2019, a 12.21% increase over the 625,600 hires for the 2018 holiday season, according to an analysis of non-seasonally adjusted data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) by global outplacement and executive and business coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Meanwhile, last holiday season, Retailers, Transportation, and Warehousing companies announced they were hiring 789,781 seasonal positions, 10.61% more than the 714,000 announced in 2018, according to Challenger tracking.

Amazon announced Monday it will add 100,000 workers ahead of this holiday season, a 50% decrease over 2019. But Amazon has been adding jobs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. It added 200,000 seasonal jobs in 2019, a 100% increase over the 100,000 announced in 2018.

“The pandemic has thrown typical holiday hiring patterns off. Last year’s strong consumer spending, coupled with low unemployment, led to one of the strongest holiday seasons in recent history. Despite current high unemployment and ongoing uncertainty, Retailers, particularly those with a strong online shopping infrastructure, are anticipating high demand,” said Andrew Challenger, Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

“Consumers are spending more online than they did in 2019. To accommodate the increase, online Retailers as well as Transportation and Warehousing companies have been doing a lot of hiring during the pandemic. Shopping online will continue for the holidays, but it is not yet clear if all companies need even more workers to accommodate the holiday sales. Retailers are struggling to figure out how many hires will be made,” said Challenger.

Read and download the full press release with tables here.