Mon, 11 Dec 2023

CHICAGO, Illinois: According to a report released by global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, U.S. retailers will hire the lowest number of seasonal workers for this holiday season since 2008 due to increased labor costs and shaky consumer confidence.

Retailers are expected to add just 410,000 seasonal jobs this season, just slightly above the 324,900 workers they added during the last quarter of the financial recession of 2008, the firms' analysis of non-seasonally adjusted data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed.

U.S. retailers added 519,400 jobs in the last quarter of 2022, a 26 percent decline from the same period in 2021, it added.

Challenger, Gray & Christmas' tracking of data also showed that U.S.-based companies have announced only 8,000 planned hires for the holiday season, compared with the 258,201 planned hires announced by employers by this point in 2022.

"We have never gone this far into September and not had big hiring predictions from retailers," said Andrew Challenger, senior vice president at Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

"It is really surprising," he stressed.

The Challenger review does not include all U.S. retail companies, such as grocery chain Kroger, which said it plans to hire "thousands" of seasonal workers, and Bath & Body Works, which it does not track.

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