Austin Hufford of The Wall Street Journal is reporting that stores and warehouses are adding fewer extra workers and finding it easier to fill those roles. He writes:
Businesses need fewer extra workers for holiday jobs this fall after fighting in recent years to find enough staff to stock shelves, fill boxes and deliver packages during the year-end rush.
That could be a warning of a weakening labor market, which is already showing signs of cooling.
The number of seasonal positions publicly advertised this fall fell to the lowest level in a decade, according to outplacement-services firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. The National Retail Federation estimates that between 345,000 to 445,000 seasonal workers will be hired this year, down as much as 40% from a recent high in 2021.
Shipping company XPO said it expects its head count to stay flat in the last three months of the year. The U.S. Postal Service said it would hire about one-third of the seasonal workers added last year.
Macy’s announced that it was seeking about 3,000 fewer seasonal workers than in 2022.
Target and United Parcel Service are expected to bring on a similar-size extra staff as last year.“The peak season holiday hiring is nothing like it had been in previous years,” said Brian Devine, chief executive of Columbus, Ohio-based warehouse-staffing agency Ignite Industrial Professionals. […]
Flower and gift seller 1-800-Flowers.com is busy this time of year preparing to ship buckets of popcorn and arrangements of red roses and white lilies.
In recent holiday seasons, the online seller ended up with about 2,000 unfilled positions at warehouses and offices around the country. It had to make that up with extra overtime for its existing workers. This year, finding workers to assemble bouquets has been much easier.
“We’re really not having a problem with labor anywhere in the country,” said Chief Executive James McCann.
Read more here.