Improved retail sales show that Americans are willing to spend this holiday season, despite the sluggish economy. Shoppers on Black Friday spent on average of $399, 10 percent more than last year, while online sales on Cyber Monday surged by a third.
The holiday shopping spree not only bodes well for retailers, it's also a boon for workers looking for jobs in retail, since employers need to add more workers to keep pace.
And add they have. In anticipation of increased sales, retailers turned to the Internet to advertise more than 72,000 openings for sales clerks and managers from Sept. 1 to Nov. 15, a 44 percent increase from last year. That's according to data compiled by Wanted Analytics, a Canadian company that analyzes employment and economic trends.
Encouraged by the recent sales figures, upbeat retailers continue to hire for holiday positions, the firm says, noting that help-wanted ads for seasonal and temporary positions are up 17 percent from the same time last year.
Sectors with the highest demand included clothing and accessories, motor vehicles and parts, food and beverage stores, electronics and appliance stores, and health and personal care stores. Combined, the five sectors placed more than 50,000 jobs during the 10-week period, Wanted Analytics notes.
Cities with the strongest demand for sales clerks and supervisors during the period included New York, Washington and Chicago. In New York, retailers and staffing firms placed nearly 3,900 new job ads online, the most of any city, the data show, while demand in Chicago nearly doubled.
Though employers are more eager to hire sales professionals, competition remains stiff within the retail sector, with a nationwide average of about 12 candidates vying for every position.
Some markets, such as Washington, D.C., are less competitive, Wanted Analytics says. The talent pool in the nation's capital is slightly smaller than average, and that means job seekers in the retail sector will likely get hired sooner than their counterparts in other areas of the country.
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