Seasonal Hiring Down 14% Year-Over-Year as Shoppers Go Online For Holiday Gifts

Seasonal hiring is down 14% year-over-year as more shoppers take to online stores to find holiday gifts, outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas said in a report on Monday.

Retailers hired 371,500 workers in November, down 9.3% from a year earlier and the smallest number of hires for the month since 2010, according to the US Department of Labor. About 150,300 workers were added in October, down 23% from the same month in 2015.

“As more and more shoppers move online, there is less need for extra workers in the brick and mortar stores,” said John Challenger, the chief executive of Challenger, Gray & Christmas said in a statement on Monday. “Even on Black Friday, once notorious for early morning mob scenes at department stores, a growing number of Americans are staying home and finding great deals on the Internet.”

The National Retail Federation earlier this year said it expects retailers will hire 640,000 to 690,000 seasonal workers, “in line” with its year-ago figure of 675,300 positions. The NRF noted that retail indirectly leads to increased hiring rates in other positions including transportation, manufacturing and fulfillment.

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