Despite a presidential election, "fiscal cliff" debates and Hurricane Sandy, retailers bumped up their holiday hiring to the highest level in six years, according to a report.
Retailers hired 728,000 new workers in the last three months of the year, up 10.3% compared with the same period last year, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. That was the highest year-end bump in the retail sector since 2006.
Most of that hiring occurred in October and November, when employers added 640,000 to their payrolls. December hiring actually dropped significantly from last year.
"An early Thanksgiving, which meant earlier Black Friday sales, may have contributed to an earlier hiring surge," said John A. Challenger, the firm's chief executive.