Hiring numbers signal happy holiday season
Retailers are looking to bring more workers on board this winter.
As the holidays roll around, many people's Christmas wishlists are short and sweet: All they want are jobs.
Unemployment, of course, is still sitting above 8%, and countless companies -- including AMR Corp (AAMRQ), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and Bank of America (BAC) -- have served up some big lay-offs.
The good news is that the next few months make for the most wonderful time of the year for retailers -- and that means good news for job hunters as well.
Wal-Mart (WMT), for example, just announced that it will hire slightly more seasonal workers than it did last year -- nearly 50,000.
Fellow big-box retailer Target's (TGT) hiring goal is slightly lower than it was last year, but the company says that's because many employees it hired last year were kept around as year-round workers.
Smaller retailer Kohl's (KSS) plans to increase hiring by about 10% to around 50,000 as well.
The promising seasonal jobs prospects come thanks to a promising outlook for the holiday season overall. Stores wouldn't be bringing in more workers if they weren't expecting more traffic and sales.
Retail is already on a roll heading into winter, thanks to a solid second-quarter rally. On top of that, the shopping period is a whopping 32 days this year, with two extra weekends.
And the effect goes full circle. The high demand leads to higher hiring numbers, which means cash in more people's hands and thus increased demand overall.
Keep an eye out for such a snowball effect in the coming months -- and the strong retail sector that could result.
As of this writing, Alyssa Oursler did not own a position in any of the aforementioned companies.
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