Retailers are likely to hire more than 800,000 people to help out during the holiday season, making it the best year for seasonal hiring since 1999, outplacement consultant Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. says.
In its annual holiday hiring forecast released Wednesday, Challenger said it expects retailers to hire significantly more season workers than they did in 2013, when 786,200 workers were added to payrolls during the closing three months of the year.
“The last two years saw holiday hiring return to pre-recession levels. This year, we could see hiring return to levels not seen since the height of the dot-com boom,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
Some companies have already released their seasonal hiring projections. Kohl’s Corp. announced it will hire more than 67,000 seasonal workers nationwide, about a third more than last year’s 50,000. UPS intends to hire up to 95,000 workers to help deliver packages during the busy holiday season as it tries to avoid a repeat of last year when the company was caught unprepared for a boom in online shopping. And Meijer Inc. expects to hire 10,000 workers in the Midwest for the fall and holiday shopping season.
The shift toward online shopping does not necessarily mean fewer jobs, according to the company’s hiring forecast. Challenger Gray noted Amazon added 70,000 extra holiday workers in 2013. Macy’s and Walmart hired 83,000 and 55,000 seasonal workers.
“Job seekers hoping to take advantage of seasonal hiring should be prepared to look beyond the traditional retail store fronts. Some of the best opportunities could be in the backroom, handling incoming and outgoing shipments,” Challenger said. “Job seekers should also look for positions at warehouses and shipping facilities associated with retailers and/or transportation companies.”