Holiday Season Looks Good for Job Seekers

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Two of the country’s largest seasonal employers have already announced that they will hire at least as many seasonal workers as they did last year. Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M) and FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) have revealed plans to add 80,000 and 55,000 seasonal jobs, respectively. Macy’s total is the same as last year, and FedEx lifted its hiring plan by 5,000 for the 2018 holiday season.

Seasonal retail employment increased by 668,400 jobs in the final three months of 2017, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a 4.3% year-over-year increase.

Vice President Andrew Challenger said:

Retailers have been aggressively hiring seasonal workers since July to combat the tight job market. This holiday season will be a good time for workers who have had trouble finding employment or those who are discouraged or marginally attached to the labor force, as retail, transport, and warehousing jobs will be plentiful. Seasonal jobs are no longer in retail alone. With the rise of online shopping, transport and warehousing companies are also looking for seasonal workers. We’ve seen this trend over the last few years.

Challenger cited U.S. Bureau of Labor data showing that transportation and warehousing employment increased by a non-seasonally adjusted 279,700, up 13.4% from the 246,700 workers in the final quarter of 2017 and by 6.6% more than the 262,300 workers hired in this sector in the final three months of 2016.

Three of the five firms hiring the most seasonal workers have not yet revealed their hiring plans for 2018. Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) hired 120,000 seasonal workers last year, Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) took on 100,000, and United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE: UPS) added 95,000.

Retailers that have already announced seasonal hiring plans include J.C. Penney, Michaels, 1-800-Flowers and L Brands. J.C. Penney is adding more than 39,000 seasonal jobs, roughly the same as the 40,000 it added last year. Michaels is adding 15,000, unchanged from a year ago, while 1-800-Flowers is adding 8,000, also unchanged. And L Brands is adding 4,000, up from zero a year ago.