Retailers are currently competing for workers in addition to market share. The economy is improving but so is unemployment, and the increasing number of fully employed Americans means there are fewer part-time seasonal workers for retailers. According to Barry Asin, president of Staffing Industry Analysts, people are finding other ways to supplement their income, such as driving for Uber or working for sites like Upwork.
The latest figures show a drop in unemployment, and most of the jobs created were in the retail industry. But currently, retailers are finding it more difficult to find staff, and those with experience come at a premium, according to supply chain and workforce management expert Steve Osburn of Kurt Salmon. Toys”R”Us is offering increased pay, bigger employee discounts and more perks in order to find staff, and Target is holding a nationwide hiring event across all of its stores in one weekend.
Here is the data:
15,968,000 | The number of people working in the retail industry, up 2 percent from a year ago
738,800 | The overall number of expected hires this holiday season
77,500 | The number of temporary workers that Target is adding in its stores and fulfillment centers
$17.92 | The average cost of an hourly retail employee, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
4.9% | The percentage of unemployed in the U.S. in August, a drop of 5.1 percent from a year ago