AT A GLANCE

  • National Retail Federation estimates that retailers will hire at least 720,000 temp positions for seasonal work in the 2013 holiday season
  • Government shutdown placed approximately 80,000 government workers on furlough
  • According to KPMG survey, businesses predicting improved economy in 2014, with 55% planning to increase hiring

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Nov 01, 2013

DCR National Temp Wage Index - November 2013

The fourth quarter of the year continues to see an upward trend in temp worker wages. This is mostly due to the mass temporary worker hiring plans for the upcoming holiday season by large retailers such as Amazon, Target, and Toys R Us.

Holiday Retail Hiring

The National Retail Federation estimates that retailers will hire at least as many seasonal workers as in 2012. This would mean at least 720,000 temp positions and maybe as many as 780,000.

Amazon.com intends to add 70,000 full-time seasonal jobs in its warehouses in the U.S., increasing its holiday temporary hiring by 40 percent this year. Additionally, the company plans to hire 15,000 temporary seasonal workers in the United Kingdom. According to the online retailer, seasonal workers earn 94 percent of starting wages of its warehouse workers and are eligible for health-care benefits. Historically, many of the temporary seasonal jobs have led to long-term positions.

Wal-Mart Stores plan to hire 55,000 temporary workers for the holiday season, up approximately 10 percent from last year. Toys R Us plans to add 45,000 temp workers to its stores and distribution centers, which is on par with its seasonal hiring in 2012.

In comparison, Target is planning on decreasing its seasonal temp hires from the previous year. The retailer plans to hire about 70,000 seasonal workers, down from 88,000 in 2012. Target says that by hiring fewer temporary sales assistants, it is better positioned to respond more quickly to any highs and lows of customer traffic.

Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc, an outplacement consultancy, forecasts that that holiday hiring will not outpace levels from last year, where the number of temporary workers brought onboard reached a 12-year high.

“The fact is that retailers are getting smarter about staffing. The era of Big Data has armed everyone with the information they need to more accurately predict the ebbs and flows in sales activity and adjust hiring accordingly.” ~John A. Challenger, Chief Executive of Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.

Temp Work for Furloughed Workers

The government shutdown placed approximately 800,000 government workers on furlough. To help ease some of the pain of being out of a job, several companies worked together to create an online job forum to help furloughed workers find temporary work. The site, unfurlough.us, went live on October 3rd, and as of October 15th, 2013 had 70 different jobs posted. The site was designed to connect furloughed workers with private sector companies in need of temporary help.

“The longer the shutdown goes on, the more jobs I think we’ll see listed and the more successful freelance work we’ll see being done.” ~Donna Harris, co-founder of unfurlough.us

Hiring Outlook 2014

According to KPMG’s 2013 Mid-Market Outlook Survey, businesses are predicting an improved U.S. economy in 2014. Of the respondents, 45 percent added headcount since 2012, and 55 percent plan to increase hires in 2014. The vast majority of executives, 73 percent, said revenues were up from the previous year and 78 percent predict that they will continue to rise in 2014.

“So far this year, we have converted more than 7,000 temporary employees in the U.S. into full-time, regular roles and we’re looking forward to converting thousands more after this holiday season.” ~Dave Clark, Vice President of Worldwide Operation and Customer Service at Amazon

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