Holiday Hiring Expected To Slip For First Time Since 2008

Retailers are gearing up for their busiest three months of the year. Early indications are that stores will be hiring fewer workers this holiday season than in 2012.

Last year, retailers added more than three-quarters of a million workers nationwide to handle the surge in shoppers between October 1 and New Year’s Eve. It was the fourth year in a row that stores increased their holiday hiring, and the most seasonal workers added since the year 2000.

John Challenger is CEO of global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray, and Christmas.

“It looks as though retail hiring will come in over 700,000 jobs. That would be down from last year’s twelve-year high, but still a very positive number. The economy certainly hasn’t slid back in the last year, it’s just not growing very quickly.”

Among the early hiring announcements, Target says it plans to hire an extra 70,000 workers to handle holiday traffic. That’s down 20% from last year. The company says the decline reflects more permanent employees putting in for extra holiday hours rather than any expected drop in sales.

2013 Holiday Hiring Outlook chart

Bio photo of Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...