Coming off a slower-than-expected back-to-school season, analysts and stores are bracing for a tough holiday shopping period, which accounts for as much as 40 percent of stores' annual revenue. Analysts study the holiday hiring figures from retailers for clues about overall employment trends and sales expectations for the holiday season. Stores typically begin to hire for the holidays in mid-September and ramp up hiring in mid-October.
At Toys R Us, hiring began in September and runs through December. About 15 percent of the jobs in 2012 lead to full-time employment.
Overall holiday hiring is expected to be relatively flat because of cautious consumer spending and uncertainty about the economic environment. Employer consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. estimates overall seasonal hiring will not change significantly from last year's total, when hiring rose 14 percent to 751,800 positions between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31.
- from staff and wire reports