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Holiday Retail Hiring Could Break Record Set 12 Years Ago

Los Angeles Times (12/10/12) Tiffany Hsu

In October and November, retailers added 619,700 seasonal workers to their payrolls, a 19% increase year-over-year, according to consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas. That hiring pace is nearing a record set 12 years ago. If retailers hire just 140,300 additional employees in December, they will match the aggregate numbers seen during the 2000 holiday hiring season. Last year retailers hired 147,600 employees in December.

“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,” says chief executive John A. Challenger. However, whether the hiring will translate to sales is unclear. Consumer confidence is at its lowest point in four months.