With the holiday hiring season in full swing, optimistic retailers are beefing up support staff to handle an influx of seasonal shoppers. The National Retail Federation calculated retail industry job gains at 37,600 for October and 295,000 compared to 2012, a 2.4 percent increase year-over-year.
"The latest jobs report, which came in stronger than anticipated, provides some positive indication that the economy and employment situation are steadily improving," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in the report. "The timing couldn't be better for retailers and consumers, who are busy preparing for the holiday shopping season."
Employment gains occurred in every retail sector with the exception of clothing and clothing stores. Those sectors witnessed a loss of 12,500 positions in September. The Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation report showed that the economy added 204,000 jobs overall in October, compared to 148,000 jobs in September.
In its annual holiday sales and employment forecast, NRF predicted that retailers would hire an additional 720,000 to 780,000 seasonal employees. Holiday heavyweight Walmart (NYSE: WMT) announced that it plans to hire 55,000 workers this year, a 10 percent increase over the 50,000 the retailer hired last year, while Target (NYSE: TGT) will be trimming its holiday hires to around 70,000 this year, a 20 percent cut from 2012. Amazon (Nasdaq:AMZN) will bring on 70,000 full-time seasonal workers at its distribution centers, a significant 40 percent increase from last year.
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