Merry Christmas Job Seekers! The seasonal holiday hiring season is underway, and the prospects of landing a job is expected to be better than in 2013.
A report released by outplacement firm Challenger, Grey & Christmas, estimates that more than 800,000 seasonal workers could be added to company payrolls this year, the first time seasonal employment numbers have been this high since 1999.
John A. Challenger, the CEO of Challenger, Grey & Christmas, told CNBC:
“The last two years saw holiday hiring return to prerecession levels. This year, we could see hiring return to levels not seen since the height of the dot.com boom.”
The primary reason for the upswing in seasonal job openings is that employers are starting to hire permanently again. So far in 2014, payrolls have increased by an average of 215,000 new workers a month.
With more people employed, more workers will have more money to spend over the Christmas holiday season, which in turn, translates to more brick-and-mortar retailers and parcel companies needing more seasonal workers for the holiday shopping season.
But although the seasonal job outlook is rosy at the moment, Challenger cautions that the numbers are just estimates, and that companies could reduce the number of seasonal workers it hires at any time.
A prime example of Challenger’s caution is Target, which last year slashed seasonal hiring by 20 percent after being predicted to have a robust seasonal hiring season. The cut in seasonal workers was partly due to an uptick in online shopping. This year, Target is expected to maintain the same seasonal employment level, which is around 70,000 workers.
Challenger further said:
“As more people do their holiday shopping over the internet, the need for extra workers on the sales floors at the malls and in department stores may decline.”
While that may be sour news for job seekers seeking brick-and-mortar retail employment, it is great news for parcel companies. UPS, the largest private parcel carrier in the U.S., is expected to lead the pack of employers looking for season workers, as the delivery company is looking to add up to 95,000 temporary workers its workforce, while Fed-EX, the second-largest carrier in the U.S., is looking to hire over 50,000 positions.
Despite the rise of online shopping, retailers will be looking to hire more seasonal workers this year.
Macy Department Stores is searching for 86,000 seasonal workers to join the payroll across its Macy’s and Bloomingdale stores, an increase of 3.5 percent over 2013. Wal-Mart will add 60,000 seasonal employees, a 10 percent increase over the previous year, and toy giant Toys R Us will look to fill 45,000 seasonal positions.
All in all, the seasonal hiring season is looking to be jolly for job seekers.[Photo Credit: Photopin]