Online shopping changing the way retail hires seasonal workers

Updated: Dec. 7, 2019 at 9:58 AM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - On the heels of a blockbuster November jobs report, we're seeing how the tectonic shift in retail is shaking up how stores hire seasonal workers. With consumer preferences shifting, holiday hiring needs have also changed, with more emphasis on speed and e-commerce.

Big retailers are on track to hire around 790,000 seasonal workers this year, marking this the second year of major growth. But the shift to e-commerce means fewer jobs.

Non-supervisory retail jobs shrank by about 23,000 over the last year. Much of that growth is due to Amazon, which said it would hire 200,000 seasonal employees this year, double the number in 2018.

Traditional retailers like Macy's and Kohl's said they plan to hire 80,000 and 90,000 workers, respectively.

Target said it plans to add 130,000 seasonal workers this year and noted that many will become permanent positions after the holiday ends. A retail consultant says there are fewer “customer-facing” jobs, but retailers are hiring more behind-the-scenes workers.

A lot of those people are doing something else to help the customer. These employees are taking care of ‘order online and pick up in store,’ curbside pickup. That requires a lot more people as they are doing the job the customer used to do.

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