Jobless workers who had hoped the coming holiday selling season might result in at least some temporary employment may find little to be merry about.
Challenger's annual holiday hiring forecast calls for retailers to add about same or possibly even a lower number of jobs as last year, when payrolls rose by 627,600 during the final three months of the year.
Though retailers are feeling better than they did in 2008 -- when the recession was at its worst, Challenger CEO John Challenger warns that many companies are girding for a drop in consumer spending, and that's likely to affect the number of seasonal workers they bring on board.
"[That] does not bode well for job seekers," Challenger says in a statement.
Target, Wal-Mart and other big-box retailers that are favored by penny-pinching shoppers will likely be the best place for job seekers to sniff out job opportunities, Challenger says. But they may have to look beyond sales clerk positions for available spots.
"The big-box stores need extra workers on the floor, but they also need extra workers in their shipping facilities and overnight stocking positions," Challenger says, adding that similar opportunities exist outside of retail, including with shipping companies such as United Parcel Service and FedEx.
A separate survey of seasonal hiring paints a rosier forecast. A slight majority of hiring managers expect to hire more workers this holiday selling season than they did last year, according to Snagajob, a website that specializes in helping hourly workers find jobs.
Hiring managers on average expect to hire 4.1 seasonal workers, a 5 percent increase above last year's 3.9 workers, Snagajob says.
Such incremental increases in holiday hiring bode well for the seasonal job market, even though it remains well below pre-recession levels, Snagajob CEO Shawn Boyer says in a statement. "What's encouraging is that we have the same percentage of hourly hiring managers expecting to make seasonal hires as before the recession."
One retailer that has already announced its hiring plans is Toys R Us, which expects to hire 40,000 workers starting this week and running through November, DailyFinance reports.
The New Jersey-based retailer said that it is hiring for a range of positions, some of which may turn into permanent positions.
While 40,000 jobs may sound like a lot, as Reuters reports, hiring projections at Toys R Us are 11 percent below 2010 levels, when the company brought on 45,000 seasonal workers.
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