Holiday Retail Hiring Better Than Expected

Retailers seem to be more jolly this year. A report from hiring firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, shows seasonal hiring among retailers increased 27% in November from the same time last year—the highest rate since 2007.

The firm reported hiring rose by 423,500 in November, citing data from the U.S. Board of Labor Statistics.  The seasonally-adjusted number showed 49,800 job gains for the month. October retail hiring also increased by 123,700 jobs or 15% from the same time in 2010.

For the season so far, which starts in October and ends in December, retailers have added 547,200 workers, up from 476,800 in October and November of last year. This is better than the firm’s expectations of seasonal employment to be about the same or lower than last year, with 627,600 jobs added from October through December.

Last year's hiring numbers were up 27% from 2009, when 495,800 workers were hired, and both years topped 2008's dismal season, when hiring fell to a 26-year low. Only 324,900 retail workers were hired in 2008, the lowest rate since 1982 when only 259,500 workers were added.