The holiday hiring season is off to the strongest start in several years, according to an analysis by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas.
Retailers added 150,900 jobs in October, about the same number as in 2006, the company said Monday.
That’s three times the number of jobs added in October of 2009, when many retailers held back amid fears that recession-weary shoppers couldn’t splurge on presents and other holiday goods. In 2009, retailers ended up adding 501,400 jobs in the October to December period, according to Challenger.
Even if retailers only add the same amount of jobs this November and December as they did last year, Challenger said that would translate into more than 600,000 total jobs added during this year’s holiday season, the strongest showing since 2007.
The numbers are based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ non-seasonally adjusted employment figures.
The overall employment rate is typically based on seasonally adjusted figures, which smooth out seasonal fluctuations such as holiday hiring or summer vacation employment. On a seasonally adjusted basis, retailers added 27,900 jobs in October, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Of course, a seasonal job will not be a permanent solution for the millions of Americans who are seeking full-time, year-round work. In an October survey of employers, job search firm CareerBuilder reported that 40 percent of employers who are hiring seasonal workers plan to transition some of them into full-time permanent jobs. That’s up from 31 percent in 2009. The survey included 2,457 hiring managers and human resource professionals.