Not all seasonal hiring will be in stores

The retail industry may be closing stores and consolidating, but those looking for a seasonal job opportunity will have lots of options thanks to fierce competition among bigger store chains.

Global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas predicts a high demand for seasonal employees as retailers prepare for the holidays.

“The competition among major big-box retailers will incentivize consumers to spend more this holiday season. These stores will need to add staff in order to meet demand,” said Challenger, Gray & Christmas CEO John Challenger.

Target has already announced it’s hiring 100,000 seasonal workers for the holidays — up by more than 22,000 from last year. The retailer also indicated it will be lowering prices in all stores in response to Amazon and Walmart’s price-slashing practices.

Since 2012, holiday hiring announcements have averaged 604,000 per year, according to Challenger tracking, with some of it by non-retailers, such as FedEx and UPS.

Seasonal retail employment increased by 641,000 during the final three months of last year, the lowest number since 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), with job gains down 9.6% from 2008.