Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., a Chicago-based employment consulting firm, has a more pessimistic view on holiday hiring by U.S. retailers, projecting a decline of about 6.9 percent this year amid shaky consumer confidence and as stores implement more efficient practices reducing demand for seasonal workers. Retailers will hire about 700,000 temporary staff, down from 751,800 last year, which was a 12-year high, the firm said last month.
Some retailers have begun announcing holiday hiring plans. Wal-Mart said in September that it would boost holiday hiring to 55,000, a 10 percent increase from last year. Target Corp. has said it would take on about 70,000 workers, 20 percent fewer than a year earlier.