More Good News for Workers Looking for Seasonal Jobs

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Last Thursday, Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) announced plans to hire 120,000 seasonal workers to get the company through the 2018 holiday shopping season. That ties the single largest seasonal hiring plan ever announced, equal to last’s year’s total of 120,000 seasonal jobs at Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN).

Target’s announcement, combined with announced seasonal hiring plans at logistics firm Radial and a revision to the J.C. Penney plan to hire more than 39,000 workers, lifts the total seasonal hiring number to date to more than 340,000 jobs, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Not included in the count are 100,000 jobs that United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE: UPS), Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer Scott Price told The Street his company plans to add this year. Neither UPS nor Amazon has officially announced 2018 holiday hiring plans, but assuming that Amazon plans to hire at least as many as it hired last year, the total could quickly rise to 560,000.

For all the 2017 holiday season, companies hired 668,400 seasonal workers, according to a report last week from Challenger, Gray.

Other than the Target plan, the largest plans announced to date are Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M), which aims to hire 80,000 seasonal workers, and FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX), which intends to hire 55,000.

Three companies that each hired more than 10,000 seasonal workers last year have not yet announced plans for this year. Kroger, Nordstrom and Burlington Stores hired 14,000, 13,650 and 12,000, respectively, last year.

Two firms that hired at least 10,000 workers last year are no longer in business. Toys “R” Us and Bon-Ton Stores hired 12,500 and 10,000 workers, respectively, last year. Both have since filed for bankruptcy and closed all their stores. Earlier this month there were reports that Bon-Ton might reopen at least some stores, but there was no indication that the reopenings would happen in time for the holiday season.

Last week Challenger, Gray Vice President Andrew Challenger said:

Retailers have been aggressively hiring seasonal workers since July to combat the tight job market. … Seasonal jobs are no longer in retail alone. With the rise of online shopping, transport and warehousing companies are also looking for seasonal workers.

Other retailers that already have announced seasonal hiring plans include Michaels, 1-800-Flowers and L Brands. Michaels is adding 15,000, unchanged from a year ago, while 1-800-Flowers is adding 8,000, also unchanged. L Brands is adding 4,000, up from zero a year ago.