Friday, December 08, 2017

Solid Seasonal Retail Hiring in November

by Bill McBride on 12/08/2017 11:00:00 AM

According to the BLS employment report, retailers hired seasonal workers in October and November at a higher pace than last year.

Seasonal Retail HiringTypically retail companies start hiring for the holiday season in October, and really increase hiring in November. Here is a graph that shows the historical net retail jobs added for October, November and December by year.

This graph really shows the collapse in retail hiring in 2008. Since then seasonal hiring has increased back close to more normal levels. Note: I expect the long term trend will be down with more and more internet holiday shopping.

Retailers hired 595 thousand workers (NSA) net in October and November, this is up from just over 509 thousand for the same period last year, and about the same level as the previous four years.   Note: this is NSA (Not Seasonally Adjusted).

This suggests retailers are optimistic about the holiday season, even though some retailers are probably having trouble finding seasonal hires.