Retailers Filling 700,000 Holiday Season Jobs

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Looking for seasonal work? Here's a quick look at how many people retailers are planning to hire for the holiday shopping spree.

It’s that time of year: Winter decorations start hitting the shelves ridiculously early, and retailers announce their hiring plans for the super-spending season.

Holiday-help hires will drop about 7 percent from last year’s 12-year high, according to consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. There should be about 700,000 jobs, mostly filled in October. Some chains, such as Toys R Us, have already begun hiring for the end of the year.

Here are the numbers we know about:

  • Target says it plans to hire 70,000 holiday workers, which is down from last year because it wants to let full-time employees pick up the overtime.
  • Walmart will hire 55,000, about a 10 percent increase from last year. About 70,000 will also move from temp to part time, or part time to full time.
  • Kohl’s is hiring roughly the same number of people as last year, about 53,000 or about 40 workers per store.
  • Toys R Us plans to add 45,000 jobs, about the same as last year.

Those four chains account for nearly a third of expected holiday jobs, but a Snagajob survey of more than 1,000 hiring managers suggests that small retailers might pick up some slack from the big ones. It says 69 percent plan to make holiday hires this season, up 6 percentage points from 2012. It also says more workers will be hired than last year, on average, at an average pay rate of $10.80 an hour.

The hiring plans seem to have little to do with projected sales. Holiday sales are still expected to rise 4 percent to 4.5 percent over last year to about $965 billion, consulting firm Deloitte says. Instead, Challenger, Gray & Christmas says, retailers are getting better at predicting when the shopping frenzy peaks and planning accordingly.

Stacy Johnson

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