Seasonal retail hiring started earlier than ever this year — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Seasonal retail hiring started earlier than ever this year

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Retailers began their annual holiday hiring push in August this year, about a month earlier than usual, according to an analysis of recruitment advertising from job site Industry experts say that’s a sign of a tight labor market this holiday season, now that unemployment is holding steady at a relatively low 5%.

The National Retail Federation predicts retailers will need between 640,000 and 690,000 seasonal workers this year, about the same as last year.

Also driving the holiday hiring binge: An earlier-than-ever gift shopping season.

Few retailers are waiting until the day after Thanksgiving to slash prices in seasonal sales. Christmas displays started going up in some stores in mid-October.

Adding to retail hiring urgency is increased competition for workers from warehouses and package delivery services, whose business is booming because of online selling.

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