Retailers employed additional 728,300 workers between October 1st and December 31st of the past holiday season according to a report from consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. The outplacement firm based its total on non-seasonally adjusted data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The 2012 total is more than 10% higher than the total for the 2011 holiday season. For the 2006 holiday season, retailers hired 746,900 seasonal workers. The CEO of the firm noted:
The fact that holiday hiring in the retail sector reached pre-recession levels is remarkable for a few reasons. More people are working, but many are still under-employed and, as a result, wages have remained stubbornly low. So, spending power this year was not necessarily greater than a year ago. Additionally, more people are shopping online, where increased holiday demand is more easily met without adding a lot of seasonal workers. Yet, despite these factors, brick-and-mortar retailers moved forward with increased hiring.
The "vast majority" of these workers will be out of job sooner rather than later, according to the firm.
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