- This year's seasonal hiring outlook is kicking off with a "strong start," according to an analysis by Challenger, Gray & Christmas’ Holiday Hiring Outlook. The firm said retailers across business segments are preparing for the holiday rush through more seasonal job openings in 2018 than in past years, with an estimated 400,000 openings.
- Target said it intends to hire 120,000 seasonal workers, up 20% from last years' goal, the firm said. That number is the largest hiring plan reported since Challenger began compiling data in 2012, matched only by Amazon’s plan to hire 120,000 workers in 2017.
- Macy’s plans to add 80,000 and J.C. Penney announced it will add 65,000 workers for the holiday crunch; the company recently added 18,000 workers for the back-to-school cycle. Gap is looking to add 65,000 workers and FedEx is planning on 55,000 seasonal staffers to meet demand for online sales and delivery.
The seasonal hiring cycle is starting early this year for many retailers and other businesses — prompting some experts to say it's beginning to look like "seasonal" hiring really has no season. Normally associated with higher holiday shopping demand, the term also refers to seasonal hiring in summer, particularly at resorts and attractions. Companies have even promised hiring bonuses and more to attract workers for these occasions.
With unemployment rates at historic lows, the competition for talent is fierce, forcing retailers to increase their starting wages to meet demand. Retail hiring has been on an upswing this year, largely due to a boom in the DIY home improvement sector, but all sectors are seeing growth as consumer confidence continues to rise.
As Black Friday looms large for many retailers, training for front-facing employees remains critical. Employers in the industry may look to partnerships that have been formed in order to meet the training demand, like the National Retail Federation's "RISE Up" initiative, announced in July.