Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Seasonal Retail Hiring

by Bill McBride on 11/13/2018 04:30:00 PM

According to the BLS employment report, retailers hired seasonal workers in October at the lowest pace since the great recession.

Typically 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.

Seasonal Retail HiringClick on graph for larger image.

Retailers hired 123 thousand workers (NSA) net in October.   Note: this is NSA (Not Seasonally Adjusted).

This suggests retailers are a little cautious about the holiday season - or they are having difficulty finding seasonal help.

Last year there was a surge in seasonal hiring in November, and maybe that will happen again this year.

Note: There is a decent correlation between October seasonal retail hiring and holiday retail sales.