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Holiday hiring up only slightly so far, analyst says

November 05, 2012|By Adolfo Flores
(Amy Sancetta/Associated…)

Hiring of seasonal workers for the holidays is up only slightly so far this year compared with last year, with retailers adding 130,000 jobs in October, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.

Last year 128,900 retail jobs were added in October, according to the outplacement firm, which analyzed the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's down from 149,800 in 2010.

That number may go up in November and December, as it did in 2011,  when retailers added 531,300 jobs during that time.

“November will give us the best indication of how 2011 stacks up when it comes to holiday hiring,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas. “It is likely that a lot more of the holiday hiring plans announced by national retailers, including J.C. Penney, Kohl’s, Best Buy and Macy’s, will show up in the November hiring figures.”

But it’s unlikely that retailers will return to pre-recession levels of seasonal hiring, he said, even if sales are stronger than last year’s.

“With more than 12 million Americans still unemployed, there are still a lot of potential holiday shoppers who remain on a very tight budget,” Challenger said.

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