Target is hiring 130,000 temp workers for the holidays

Black Friday is more than two months away. But in a...

Posted: Sep 10, 2019 8:32 AM

Black Friday is more than two months away. But in a tight labor market, America's retailers and delivery giants are starting to look for seasonal help to handle the holiday shopping rush.

Target said Tuesday that it would hire more than 130,000 temporary workers for its stores and distribution centers. Last year, Target hired about 120,000 workers for the holidays. More than 40% of those employees stayed on with Target past the holiday season, according to the company.

UPS also announced plans Monday to hire around 100,000 holiday workers, roughly the same number as last year. And Amazon said it would announce its holiday hiring plans in the coming weeks. Amazon hired around 100,000 seasonal workers a year ago.

As companies have done in past years, they are relying on higher hourly wages and perks to attract workers. Target will pay $13 an hour to seasonal workers for the first time and offer them discounts at stores. UPS will offer students the opportunity to earn $1,300 for college expenses.

Finding workers to staff stores and delivery hubs could be difficult. America's unemployment rate remains below 4%.

Stores are having trouble filling job vacancies, despite a series of mass closures that have resulted in employment in retail falling by 74,000 so far this year. More than 880,000 retail jobs were open in July.

Despite the tight labor market on a national level, retailers in rural and suburban areas will be able to find workers who have lost their jobs because of mall and store closures, said Andrew Challenger, vice president of outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

The escalating trade war and the growing possibility of a recession have not changed retailers' hiring plans.

Although the trade war with China and tariffs on some imports have damaged parts of the economy, consumer spending remains strong. Retail sales grew 0.9% from June to July and were up 5.6% over the previous year, according to the Census Department.

"Companies tend to hire right up to a recession, so these large-scale hiring announcements are likely to occur until consumer spending begins to fall," Challenger said.

But workers' advocates are concerned that companies only hire seasonal workers on a temporary basis and that those positions hurt current part-time workers who "desperately need and want more hours," said Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.

Retailers create seasonal jobs "without needed benefits and with no intent to ever hire people on for the long term positions that they really desire," he said. "Retailers should be offering their current workers more hours before hiring thousands of temporary disposable positions."

With a US workforce of 1.5 million, Walmart, the country's largest private employer, focuses on giving additional hours to some workers during the holidays instead of bringing on new hires.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 96677

Reported Deaths: 2911
CountyConfirmedDeaths
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DeSoto559460
Harrison388374
Jackson350570
Madison331089
Rankin330679
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Jones248779
Washington225977
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Scott117627
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Marshall110617
Lincoln110253
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Tate100437
Union99824
Leake96038
Adams94137
Wayne90421
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Marion86535
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Hancock58722
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Smith53415
Calhoun52112
Tunica49715
Claiborne46516
Montgomery46420
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Lawrence43313
Perry42419
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Humphreys37715
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Stone37412
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Webster33813
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Carroll31912
Wilkinson30518
Kemper29015
Sharkey26613
Jefferson2439
Benton2273
Franklin1933
Choctaw1866
Issaquena1053
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 134231

Reported Deaths: 2357
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19676351
Mobile13373292
Montgomery8834184
Tuscaloosa8621118
Madison788178
Shelby597849
Lee589760
Baldwin547750
Marshall394343
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Houston290321
Elmore266748
DeKalb241621
St. Clair232235
Walker231684
Talladega216629
Limestone210120
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Franklin177129
Autauga176425
Russell17603
Lauderdale171333
Colbert164626
Blount161115
Escambia160824
Chilton158530
Jackson157511
Covington140127
Dale138644
Coffee13486
Pike119810
Chambers116442
Tallapoosa116085
Clarke109116
Marion96429
Butler91239
Barbour8827
Winston74412
Marengo72020
Pickens66214
Bibb65410
Lowndes65327
Randolph64713
Hale63528
Geneva6254
Lawrence62023
Cherokee60813
Bullock60414
Monroe5898
Clay5858
Washington55713
Perry5416
Crenshaw53732
Conecuh53511
Wilcox53111
Henry5055
Macon48018
Fayette4578
Sumter43819
Cleburne3805
Lamar3672
Choctaw34712
Greene30315
Coosa1713
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