Forecasts for the economy will see a small squeeze in the usual available jobs for Christmas 2013. Due to the late Thanksgiving weekend retailers have a shorter window to achieve Christmas sales. This is the main reason for subdued projections for the holiday season and those expectations are influencing holiday hiring.
Walmart will hire 55,000 seasonal associates and will transition more than 35,000 associates from temporary to part-time and another 35,000 associates from part-time to full-time, the company said in a recent press release.
According to recruiting firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas, retailers are expected to hire roughly 700,000 temporary employees for the Oct.1- Dec. 31 holiday season, the Chicago-based company said. That would fall below the 751,800 hired last year. The 2012 total was up 14% from prior year and marked the fourth consecutive increase in holiday hiring since the national financial collapse.
“While the economy and job market are improving, it has now been four years since the recession officially ended and millions of Americans are still unemployed or underemployed,” said company CEO John Challenger in a statement with the firm’s annual forecast. “As a result, consumers remain uneasy, which is evidenced by wide monthly mood swings in confidence surveys.”
Impacting all the forecasts and predictions is the ongoing improvement in online shopping and the growth in shopper preference for buying on the Internet.
Better product ranges and special deals puts online shopping ahead of in-store shopping at Christmas time for 25% of the 2,000 online shoppers surveyed for the latest Index.
Crowded stores, checkout queues and sparse staffing was cited by 42% as reasons they perceive the in-store shopping experience at Christmas deteriorates.
Very few (7%) felt online shopping worsened over the Christmas period.
It’s no surprise to learn, therefore, that nearly all (96%) of respondents plan to shop online this Christmas, where 48% plan to do at least half of their shopping.
But even all the rosy news for online retailers is subdued. Major online employers such as Amazon are looking at hiring less this year, too.