Holiday hiring at U.S. chain stores will rise by a modest 1 to 2 percent over the year-ago period, reflecting retailers’ expectations for sales, says ICSC. “Company decisions about seasonal hiring are intertwined with the company’s financial health as well as its sales expectations,” said Michael P. Niemira, ICSC’s chief economist and director of research.
Best Buy announced plans to slash its holiday-employee hiring to about 15,000 this year, roughly half the 29,000 workers it hired last year. The electronics chain said it would rather have better-trained full-time staffers who can answer questions than seasonal employees. Toys ‘R’ Us also said it would hire fewer seasonal workers this year.
Some 50 million full-time or part-time retail jobs were created in November and December during each of the past 10 years, on average, according to ICSC. Seasonal hiring increased yearly during the early 1990s, peaking in 2006. During the holidays that year, hiring at GAFO (general merchandise, apparel, furnishings and other merchandise) stores reached a record 54.8 million jobs. “As companies built up their e?commerce businesses, holiday job hiring in their traditional stores may have required a smaller in-store need, but even if that is so, today’s overall e-commerce retail seasonal hiring for the Christmas holiday is at 0.1 percent – tiny relative to brick-and-mortar stores,” Niemira said.