Seasonal Hiring Ramps Up With Kohl's Announcement

Kohl’s Corp. (NYSE: KSS) announced Monday morning that the company plans to hire more than 69,000 seasonal employees for the 2016 holiday shopping season. Last week Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) announced that it would hire nearly 70,000 extra workers this year.

Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas expects seasonal hiring this year to be relatively flat in the retail sector. In 2015, U.S. retailers added 738,800 seasonal workers for the period between October and December. That total was 1.4% below the 2014 total of 749,100 temporary positions. In the past 10 years, 2013’s total of 786,800 represents the highest level of seasonal jobs added.

Delivery firms FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE: UPS) are expected to add a combined total of at least 150,000 seasonal jobs, the number of positions added last year. Target has also said it would add 7,500 workers in its distribution centers. Phone and online support firm Radial is expected to hire 20,000 temporary workers for the holiday season.

Other major brick-and-mortar and online retailers who have yet to announce their hiring plans include Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT), Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M) and Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN). Last year Wal-Mart added 60,000 seasonal workers, Macy’s added 85,000 and Amazon added 100,000.

And if the past is any guide, distribution and warehousing will see an increase this year, according to John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas:

The big change we are seeing, however, is that while seasonal retail jobs remain flat or shrink, there has been a marked increase in seasonal job gains in other sectors. The sector with the biggest increase in holiday hiring in recent years has been transportation and warehousing, as more and more holiday shopping is done online.

The outplacement firm also noted that Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that warehousing and transportation seasonal work has increased nearly five-fold over the past decade, from 42,400 to 200,500 in November and December of last year.