Retail Sales and Hiring Both Grow this Holiday Season

As the holiday shopping season kicks into gear, retailers reported 6.6% gains from Black Friday and a 24% increase in online sales. We've been closely following hiring demand in the retail trade sector over the past few months and decided to take an updated look at retail sales online job ads. Between September 1 and November 15, Retailers placed more than 72,000 new online job ads for Salespersons and Sales Managers, a 44% increase compared to the same time period in 2010. This also marks a growth of 38% versus 2009, and 1% in comparison to 2008. Despite growing over the past 3 years, hiring is still 11% below pre-recession demand, when more than 81,000 jobs were advertised online during the same two and a half month period in 2007. With strong sales so far this holiday season, job ads for seasonal and temporary positions are up 17% in comparison to the same time period during 2010.


The industries with the highest demand during this time period were:

  1. Clothing and Clothing Accessories Stores
  2. Motor Vehicle and Parts Dealers
  3. Electronics and Appliance Stores
  4. Health and Personal Care Stores
  5. Food and Beverage Stores

Combined, these five industries accounted for about 70% of all job ads between September 1 and November 15. Metropolitan areas with the highest hiring demand for retail Salespersons and Supervisors of Salespersons during this period were New York, Chicago, and Washington, DC. Employers and staffing firms within the retail sector in New York placed more than 3,800 new online job ads within the retail sector, the most of any city at a 25% year-over-year increase. Chicago also experienced a year-over-year increase of 93%, while Washington, DC declined about 2% from the same time in 2010.

Location Volume of Job Ads % Change vs. 2010
New York, NY 3,893 +25.3%
Chicago, IL 2,752 +93.2%
Washington, DC 2,453 -2.2%

Recruiting conditions for sales related professionals in the retail industry are likely to be moderately difficult, with about 12 potential candidates in the workforce for every open job. However, conditions will vary slightly by location, depending on local talent supply. According to the Hiring Scale™, Recruiters representing the retail sector in Washington, DC are likely to experience the most difficult recruiting conditions of the above three cities with the highest volume of job ads. The talent pool in this area is slightly smaller than average, meaning that retailers will need to compete more heavily to recruit talent for open positions.


Hiring Scale for Retail Sales Jobs in Washington, DC versus Nationally

Hiring Scale for Retail Sales Jobs in Washington, DC

Source: WANTED Analytics


In addition, it is likely that Recruiters in the retail industry in the DC area will see job ads listed online longer. The duration of a job listing in Washington, DC is 42 days (or 6 weeks), longer than the national average.  For additional information about hiring within the retail industry, take a look at our previous reports:


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