Target said Thursday it will hire up to 100,000 seasonal employees this holiday season, about the same number as last year — even as other big-box chains are scaling back hiring plans as consumer spending sputters.
Walmart said this week it will hire just 40,000 seasonal workers compared with 150,000 in 2021. Michaels Stores is hiring 15,000, or 5,000 fewer than last year. 1-800 Flowers will hire 2,000 fewer workers, or about 8,000.
Kohl’s and UPS are hiring approximately the same number of seasonal workers at 90,000 and 100,000, respectively, the companies said this month. Amazon has not yet announced its holiday hiring plans.
“A lot of uncertainty is plaguing seasonal employers, which may mean a slower hiring season,” Andrew Challenger, senior vice president of executive outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas said. “If companies see strong consumer buying in September and October, we might see those large-scale announcements begin.”
Retail sector employment has surpassed pre-pandemic levels reaching 15.8 million workers in August, which is the highest August number since 2017, according to government data.
Challenger predicts that overall retail hiring will dip this year to 680,000 workers compared with the 701,400 jobs that were added in 2021. Recession concerns are driving caution.
“Companies have been in hiring mode for two years, battling to attract and retain talent and offering unprecedented perks and salaries to do so,” Challenger said. “Some may find they have all the workers they need.”
In February, Target raised its minimum wage from $15 to up to $24 in certain competitive markets.
In its most recent quarter, the company said it was stuck with more inventory than it could sell and began heavily discounting this summer to clear its warehouses and stores so it could restock with holiday merchandise.
The Minneapolis-based company said its holiday Target Deal Days will be available much earlier this year, from Oct. 6-8.