Published November 9, 2022

The labor market remains tight as the nation enters the penultimate month of 2022, but signs of a slowdown are emerging, according to an analysis of non-seasonally adjusted data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) by global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Retailers added 162,000 in October, according to BLS, down 28% from the 224,400 jobs added in October last year. Meanwhile, Transportation and Warehousing added 65,800 jobs, a 46% decrease from the 121,600 new positions added in the same month last year.

Challenger has tracked fewer large-scale seasonal hiring announcements this year than last, as well. By November 16, 2021, companies had announced 940,300 seasonal hiring plans. So far this year, companies have announced just 592,400 hiring plans for the holiday season, a 37% decrease. Ultimately, employers announced 963,500 new positions last year.

“Companies may be reluctant to announce their seasonal hiring plans, even if they do intend to hire, due to economic uncertainty. Some may not want or need to make a hiring push right now,” said Andrew Challenger, Senior Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Total Employment in Retail and Transportation & Warehousing

Employment in the Retail sector is higher than last year. According to the BLS, 15,822,300 Americans are employed in Retail, the highest October for the sector since 2016, when 15,899,500 were employed.

Likewise, Transportation and Warehousing employs 6,547,200, the highest total for October since the BLS began tracking. It is also the highest monthly total of any month with the exception of last December, when the industry employed 6,689,000, according to non-seasonally adjusted figures.

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