The brewing battle for front-line holiday workers

Retailers are offering perks to hire new workers for the holidays, but they may not be enough.

Scan the world of retail and you’ll find some aggressive hiring goals this holiday season:

  • Walmart is looking to hire 150k additional workers
  • Macy’s plans to hire 76k full- and part-time employees
  • Nordstrom hopes to hire 28.6k regular and seasonal workers

Given the tight job market, in many cases retailers will be competing for the same workers.

To differentiate, retailers are offering some pretty sweet perks

Beyond raising hourly wages, other benefits include:

  • Tuition reimbursement: Walmart is offering some workers free college tuition
  • Signing bonuses: Amazon is offering a $3k bonus for some warehouse jobs
  • Flexible shifts: L.L. Bean is offering 2- and 4-hour shifts for hourly employees

In some cases, holiday hiring perks are cutting into shopping hours — Saks Off 5th is getting rid of extended holiday shopping to offer workers more flexibility.

These perks still may not be enough

Despite the American economy adding 531k jobs in October, the percentage of working-age people looking for a job remained flat — indicating the tight job market could continue.

Front-line retail jobs also expose workers to COVID risks, which could stifle hiring as long as the Delta variant is circulating.

Bottom line: Between low inventory from supply chain issues, and short-staffed stores, it may make sense to get your shopping done sooner than later.

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