Leading outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas predicts that retailers will hire about 755,000 seasonal elves, which would be about the same as last year (the firm had expected seasonal hiring to exceed 800,000 in 2014). At least one early holiday forecast (from Shopper Trak) predicts a 2.4% increase in holiday sales this year amid economic conditions that are overall trending higher.
Still, Challenger points out that some potentially mitigating factors this Christmas could reduce the need for holiday help, including the fact that retailers have hired some 12,500 more employees through August 2015 than in the comparable period last year.
Also, consumer habits have changed, and more and more people shop on-line every year, so not all seasonal help will be on the sales floor or behind the register; many will be placed in the warehouse or other parts of the business. But would-be part-timers can apply to the following retail stalwarts, which are all hiring: Macy’s, Wal-Mart, J.C. Penney, Toys R Us, Kohl’s, Target – not to mention UPS and FedEx to help load Santa’s sleigh.