Retailers in the U.S. are planning to hire fewer holiday workers compared to last year.
Companies are expected to add about 410,000 seasonal jobs this year, but that's about 100,000 less than they added last year and the lowest number since 2008, according to an estimate report by the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
Big-box stores like Target and Home Depot say they anticipate customers will splurge less as inflation takes a bigger chunk out of their budgets.
“With inflation slowing, companies, particularly Retailers, won’t be able to pass increased labor costs to the consumer as easily," said Andrew Challenger, SVP at Challenger, Gray & Christmas. "This could lead to more cuts, rather than more added positions, as evidenced by the increase in job cuts in this sector."
As of Tuesday, U.S. companies have reported 178,500 seasonal job openings, a decrease from the 258,201 seasonal job openings announced at the same time in 2022, according to the report.
"Seasonal employers have a few issues to grapple with in the coming months. One is the cost of labor, limiting desire to add workers. Another is whether consumers continue to spend at the same clip. Another is one that has been fairly constant since the pandemic: Can they attract workers?" said Challenger.
One company that is planning a major increase in holiday help is Amazon.
It plans on adding 250,000 positions, and it's bumping up the average pay to $20.50 an hour.
Another company that will be greatly impacted for the holidays is UPS; however, it hasn't announced holiday hiring yet due to union negotiations and improved wages, despite traditionally hiring 100,000 for the season over the past three years, the report adds.
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