U.S. Holiday Hiring To Soar In 2018

A new report says that more than 700,000 workers will be hired by U.S. retailers this holiday season — the largest number since 2014.

Retailers said they would add 704,000 jobs before the holiday shopping season, an increase of 1.2 percent from the previous best figures in 2014, according to a report from global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Target, Amazon and Macy’s will be the top retailers in hiring, with Target raising seasonal hires by 20 percent this year to 120,000, Amazon expecting to employ 100,000 workers and Macy’s planning to have 80,000.

“In a period of near full employment, retailers, logistics firms, transport, and warehousing are competing for talent and upping their employee offerings this holiday season to attract potential workers,” said Andrew Challenger, vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, according to Reuters.

But with U.S. unemployment at record lows, retailers have already begun reporting difficulty finding workers

“All of this is good news for American workers, but it is not so good for retailers as some positions may go unfilled and retailers will have to offer more benefits and incentives to get people to work for them,” said Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between March and June there were more jobs open in the retail segment than there were people hired to fill them. In addition, data from LinkedIn has suggested that cities such as Seattle and New York have a dearth of workers with retail skills. To attract potential workers, retailers are rolling out perks like paid time off (PTO) for part-time employees, along with higher wages. Retailers are also hosting “recruiting marathons” to help hire thousands of people.

JCPenney and Kohl’s started hiring seasonal holiday workers in June. Macy’s is expanding the perks and benefits it offers to seasonal workers. And Amazon turned up the pressure by suddenly raising its employees’ wages, turning a holiday-season hiring problem into possibly a new year-round worry for retailers trying to retain workers.