Why Holiday Hiring Could Hit Record Highs

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As the holiday season rolls around, companies have to ramp up their hiring to deal with the increased demand they will inevitably see this time of the year. This year is no different, but what stands out in 2018 is a new record of jobs being offered, according to a recent report by Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

With Amazon’s announcement that the company will hire about 100,000 seasonal workers, as reported in the Staten Island Advance and including 6,000 in Chicago and 9,000 in New Jersey, holiday hiring announcements this year have surpassed the previous record total of nearly 696,000 seasonal jobs set in 2014. Companies hiring seasonal workers for the holidays have announced 704,000 jobs this season, according to a tally released Wednesday by Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

It’s worth pointing out that this surge in hiring announcements comes during a period of the highest consumer confidence in 18 years. In the past month, the consumer confidence index reached 138.4, its highest level since September 2000, and close to the record of 144.7 set in May 2000. Retailers expect spending to rise 5.6% over last year, to a record $1.1 trillion from $967.13 billion, according to the National Retail Federation.

In the midst of this hiring frenzy, these companies are offering other perks not previously seen by seasonal hires. Target, which announced 120,000 hires for the holidays, the most Challenger has tracked for a brick-and-mortar retailer, is offering gift cards. J.C. Penney is presenting vacations and “prize packages” to workers, while Kohl’s is offering a special shopping day with discounts for employees.

Amazon previously announced that it would increase its hourly wage to $15 per hour. And it seems that others will be following suit as well. According to a survey by Snag reported on in the Washington Post, retailers are expected to increase wages 54% over last season.

Andrew Challenger, Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, commented:

Clearly, retailers are expecting consumers to spend more on their family and friends this year. In order to meet this demand, especially in a period of near full employment, retailers, logistics firms, transport, and warehousing are competing for talent and upping their employee offerings this holiday season to attract potential workers.

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