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Holiday Hiring Down from 2012, Firm Says

December 2, 2013

By Kevin Allenspach, St. Cloud Times, Minn.

Seasonal hiring is down about 6.7 percent from 2012.  

Seasonal hiring is down about 6.7 percent from 2012.

Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a Chicago-based outplacement service with 51 offices across North America, forecast holiday hiring this year will amount to 700,000 jobs -- down about 6.7 percent from last year and the first decrease since 2008.

According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, holiday hiring was highest in 1999 -- when more than 21,000 Minnesotans took on seasonal retail jobs. As recent as 2008, that fell to about 5,000 but has since been slowly recovering.

Many companies only release national hiring statistics. Kohl's, which has a store in Waite Park, announced it will hire 50,000 seasonal associates across the country. That works out to an average of about 40 per store. Those associates work anywhere from a few hours to more than 20 hours per week. Typical jobs include unloading trucks, processing freight, stocking shelves and working at cash registers.

Retailers including J.C. Penney, Macy's and Toys R Us kept their holiday hiring about the same as last year -- with national figures of 35,000, 83,000 and 45,000 hires, respectively.

Target this year hired 70,000 holiday workers -- a decrease of 18,000 from last year. To make up the difference, it offered more work hours to staff members. Other areas boosted seasonal employment, though. For example, Amazon hired 70,000 workers for the holidays -- an increase of 20,000 from 2012.

Original headline: National holiday employment hiring down about 6.7% from 2012

Source: (c)2013 the St. Cloud Times (St. Cloud, Minn.) Distributed by MCT Information Services

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