Despite a record number of hiring announcements for the holiday season last year, Retailers added the lowest number of jobs since 2009, 625,600 in the final quarter of 2018, 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. With current economic conditions and consumer spending trends, Challenger predicts seasonal hiring will stagnate or fall slightly from 2018.

Seasonal jobs added in Retail in the final quarter of last year were 6.4% lower than during the same period in 2017, when 668,400 jobs were added. This is the lowest number of jobs added since 2009, when Retailers added 495,800 seasonal jobs.

Last year, Challenger tracked 431,000 large-scale hiring announcements by Retailers, the highest number since Challenger began tracking in 2012. That was 37% higher than the 314,950 Retail hiring announcements in 2017. Overall, 714,000 seasonal positions were announced last year, from companies in Retail, Transportation, and Warehousing, 16.3% higher than the 614,129 announced in 2017.

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