Photo: Daniel Goodman / Business Insider
UPS announced this morning it would hire 55,000 seasonal employees to handle this year’s holiday volumes. This is 10% higher than a year ago. The company said it expects volumes during its busiest week to grow 6% year-over-year to 120 million packages.Last month, FedEx announced it would boost its staff by 20,000 for the holidays, up 15% from a year ago. The company expects volumes to climb 12% this year.
However, holiday hiring growth isn’t expected to be as robust in the retail sector. According a new report from Challenger grey & Christmas, retailers hired just 141,500 in October, the first month of the holiday hiring season. This is down 2% from a year ago. CEO John Challenger doesn’t expect hiring to pick up much in November and December. “There are some troubling signs that retail hiring may not surpass the last year, when retailers added 627,600 holiday workers. Economic reports have been weaker of late, retail sales growth slowed more than expected in October and the latest readings on consumer confidence have shown a much less optimistic public. All of this factors into retailers’ staffing decisions,” he said.
Challenger’s hiring growth assessment is roughly in line with that of the National Retail Federation, who expects hiring to be flat.