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. Much of this hiring will occur over the next three to four weeks, so that retailers have workers in place for the all-important Black Friday sales. Some retailers have moved up Black Friday shopping from early Friday morning to late Thanksgiving Thursday night. “Among those starting sales on Thanksgiving Day is Macy’s, which is planning to hire the most seasonal workers so far this year, with 83,000, and announced some of its stores would open at 8p.m. Thanksgiving Day. While there was some public criticism of earlier and earlier sales, the outcry obviously did not translate to decreased traffic or else Macy’s and others that are sure to make similar announcements in the coming weeks would not be doing it again this year,” said John Challenger. “The early opening will only increase the need for temporary seasonal workers, who are likely to be the ones stuck working on Thanksgiving Day, as those with more seniority tend to get first-preference when it comes to assigning holiday hours,” noted Challenger. Will other retailers join Macy’s in opening on Thanksgiving Day? How might early openings impact retail employment? What can those seeking holiday jobs do to improve their chances of finding employment?

Macy’s 83,000
Target 70,000
Amazon 70,000
Walmart 55,000
Kohl’s 53,000
Toys R Us 45,000
JCPenney 35,000
FedEx 20,000
GameStop 17,000
Meijer 9,000
JoAnn’s 3,000
eBay (Louisville, KY) 2,000
Eddie Bauer (Columbus, OH) 1,200
eBay (Eau Claire, WI) 800