Walmart To Hire 55,000 Holiday Workers

Holiday hiring across retail sector expected to drop from 2012.

Views Of Shoppers And Products During A Wal-Mart Store Grand Opening
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Walmart has announced a slight increase in the number of seasonal workers it plans to hire this year, as the retail sector at large is expected to see a drop-off from last year. The Bentonville, Ark.-behemoth said on Monday it will hire 55,000 seasonal workers for the 2013 holiday season, 5,000 more than it took on last year. Retailers in general, however, are expected to hire in the range of 700,000 temporary workers for the Oct. 1 to Dec. 31 holiday season, according to the Chicago-based employment consulting firm, Challenger, Gray & Christmas. That's roughly a 7 percent drop-off from last year's holiday hiring.

Walmart watch
As the country's largest private employer, Walmart's hiring plans are always closely monitored. But Walmart was also attracting attention for its announcement Monday that it plans to transition 35,000 part-time workers to full-time status while bumping up another 35,000 part-time workers to temporary status, as Bloomberg news reported.

And according to Bloomberg, the decisions are being made just as customer frustration mounts over unstocked shelves throughout Walmart stores. The complaint shouldn't come as a total surprise -- in the past five years, the national Walmart workforce has dropped by about 120,000 employees as 500 new stores have been added, according to Bloomberg. And so as David Galper, head of retail banking for KeyBanc Capital Markets, told the news agency, "They want to have sufficient employees to get the right product to the right shelf at the right time."

Walmart, for its part, denied the claim that it wasn't providing enough manpower to keep customers satisfied. "Our in stock levels are up significantly in the last few years," Walmart spokewoman told Bloomberg in a separate report. And so the stocking claim is "inaccurate," she said.

Response to protests?
The staffing up comes just as Walmart is being targeted anew by labor activists. Earlier this month, the non-union group OUR Walmart organized protests attended by thousands of activists and workers in 15 cities. The demonstrators were calling for a minimum salary of $25,000 a year for all Walmart workers, among other requests. The day of action marked the largest protest against Walmart since last year's Black Friday walkout, when Walmart workers staged protests at roughly 1,000 stores nationwide.

But in speaking to AOL Jobs earlier this month, Walmart spokesman Kory Lundberg said the company has not been particularly moved by the activism. "The protests have never actually been able to get more than a 100 associates at a protest, in spite of what organizers say," he said. "This is a union campaign made up of union members and activists."

Retail trends
Other retailers also announced their seasonal hiring plans this week. And the biggest names of the retail sector also revealed plans that were flat at best:
  1. Target expects to hire 70,000 holiday workers for its stores this year, down from 88,000 in 2012. The reduction was a result of the company's "increased efficiencies," as USA Today reported.
  2. Kohl's said it plans to hire more than 50,000 seasonal workers throughout its 1,150 nationwide stores. The plan is to decrease in the number of seasonal workers per store, while increasing in the amount of jobs at distribution centers, as CNBC reported.

Last year's holiday season saw a total of 751,800 seasonal workers, which was a 12-year high, according to USA Today. It was also the fourth year in a row that seasonal hiring rose.

The expectation that this year will see a new trend is being chalked up to an inability to get over the hump of the financial crisis. "Consumers remain uneasy, which is evidenced by wide monthly mood swings in confidence surveys," according to the Challenger firm.

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remember if you do work for walmart and you see someone getting beat up they will fire you if you try to help...BOYCOTT WALMART !!!!

October 19 2013 at 3:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Temporary worker !
Which mean like diaper they are made to be disposed off

October 11 2013 at 9:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I see the number they want to hire (55,000 ) and the next article gives the numbers of the workers they've had arrested for protesting.....someone needs good luck very badly

October 07 2013 at 12:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Will these people expect to be paid $15.00 an hour to do a $5.00 an hour job?

September 27 2013 at 12:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So a few people are getting a part time job at low wages. I guess Obama will be howling about how much he's helped the economy pretty soon.

September 27 2013 at 11:19 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to razaminaz's comment

Don't apply, problem solved. You don't get to dictate who wants to work and where they can work. So get over it.

September 27 2013 at 12:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

These jobs are all part-time and will run thru the end of the year, and I'll bet you my next years wages the current administration will count them every month and brag about "jobs created or saved" and lower the unemployment numbers each month too.

September 27 2013 at 10:35 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

So they cut workers hours to avoid healthcare. Then they hire more part-time workers to fill the empty hours created. Now they are hiring temporary seasonal workers....with no benefits. What is news here? The news is that so many people who could not afford healthcare now HAVE to buy healthcare. What do they have to give up to have the money for the healthcare costs? Food, clothing, education? What is affordable about Obama Care? I know someone will mention tax breaks and vouchers but how many years will the vouchers be available for and how long will the tax breaks last? Who pays for the vouchers?

September 27 2013 at 9:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to experimenttoo's comment

ALL sales businesses and many others hire what is called "seasonal employees" during holiday seasons.

As for the rest of your post I agree 100%.

September 27 2013 at 10:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Many business hire seasonal employees whose job is temporary. Sometimes they keep them on afterward, but usually they do not. And many businesses have practiced the standard of hiring part time for decades to avoid giving benefits. Even though my mom didn't really need the benefits, she ran across this practice all the time as far back as the 70s. But nice try.

September 27 2013 at 1:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Then they will ALL be fired after the hilday. Welcome to Obamas America.

September 27 2013 at 7:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to fitzbeerman's comment

They aren't all fired/laid off. The good workers are kept AFTER the Holidays while the others go on their merry little ways. If you want to stay, they keep you on. I KNOW this is true because that is what happened to me.

September 27 2013 at 8:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why is this a story? If they hired 50,000 last year and were hiring 75,000 this year, maybe a story?

September 25 2013 at 5:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's great that they are hiring those temporary workers. Kids will benefit. But our shelves are empty a lot of the time. So We look elsewhere to get our stuff as it seems every time we go, they again don't have the items we came to the store to get. The person, (a spokeswoman - name not mentioned), does need to get out of the office and go to the store to see this for herself. Looking at inventory figures on a computer screen does not mean the shelves are full. Bet they pay her lots of money. She is probably doing the job she is paid to do, but she obviously is not aware of what really goes on out there in the land beyond computer screens.

September 25 2013 at 2:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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