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Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - Page updated at 07:30 p.m.
Holiday hiring could break record set 12 years ago
By BY TIFFANY HSU
Los Angeles Times
Holiday hiring by retailers is fast approaching a record set 12 years ago, according to a new analysis of government numbers.
So far, retailers have added 619,700 seasonal workers in October and November, 19 percent more than the 512,600 holiday employees hired in the same period last year, according to consultancy firm Challenger Gray & Christmas.
If businesses bring on just 140,300 more workers in December, they’ll match the nearly 760,000 employees tacked on to payrolls during the three-month holiday hiring season in 2000 — a record high.
Doing so isn’t a stretch. Last year, retailers hired 147,600 workers in December, bringing the three-month total to 660,200 seasonal employees. Challenger derives its data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“Despite all of the uncertainty, all the talk of fiscal cliffs, the widespread damage to retail epicenters on the East Coast by Hurricane Sandy, and the continued growth of e-commerce, retailers are hiring holiday workers in record numbers,” said CEO John Challenger.
The influx of workers is being used to staff stores as they expand holiday hours. Chains such as Wal-Mart caused a stir by allowing shoppers in on Thanksgiving. Macy’s stores will stay open for 48 hours straight starting Dec. 21, with 57 stores keeping the lights on for another 24 hours after that.
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