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Target, Amazon, and Macy’s kick off holiday hiring spree

Major retailers upend a prediction that seasonal hiring would be the slowest since 2008.
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Did you hear that? That was the starting gun of the holiday hiring season.

In a few short days, Amazon announced plans to hire 250,000 workers, Target said it plans to hire 100,000 employees, and Macy’s said it would hire more than 38,000. The string of hiring announcements—Amazon’s in particular—appears to have already upended one prediction that holiday hiring would be the slowest since 2008.

Job market researcher Challenger, Gray & Christmas estimated that employers would add just 410,000 new jobs this year, the fewest since 2008. The report pointed out that US companies announced just 178,500 seasonal positions as of September 19—compared to 258,201 jobs in the same period a year prior and 301,700 in 2020.

Changing the math: However, that was before Amazon announced plans for its biggest seasonal hiring wave since Challenger started tracking the data in 2012.

Adding up Amazon, Target, and Macy’s hiring plans brings the total to 388,000+ jobs, and a number of heavy-hitter retailers have yet to announce. Walmart, for example, hired 40,000 seasonal workers in 2022 and 150,000 in 2021.

What America’s largest retailer will do this year isn’t yet clear, but executives were arguably talking a big game during its most recent earnings call.

“Consumers are not compromising on some of the holiday seasons,” CFO John David Rainey said during a Q&A with analysts. “They’re being choiceful in their spending, discerning. But around July 4 and some of the other holidays that we’ve seen, they’re showing a willingness to spend. And our team is leaning into that.”

Even so, the prediction of fewer seasonal hires tracks with a new report from Deloitte that forecasts a more tepid holiday shopping season than in recent years.

Retail news that keeps industry pros in the know

Retail Brew delivers the latest retail industry news and insights surrounding marketing, DTC, and e-commerce to keep leaders and decision-makers up to date.