NORMAN — Even before economists begin looking at holiday shopping estimates, they are looking at holiday hiring trends. Retailers often start their hiring sprees long before shoppers make their lists.
Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest private retailer, plans to hire 55,000 seasonal workers and will elevate another 70,000 more to full and part-time positions as the holiday season ramps up, according to an Associated Press report.
The Arkansas-based company has 1.3 million full-time and part-time workers in the U.S.
Many of those new positions will come with benefits, too. Wal-Mart said workers hired before February 2012 get benefits if they work 24 hours or more per week. Employees hired later get benefits if they work 30 hours or more a week.
Earlier, Target Stores said it is looking to hire 70,000 workers, down slightly from a year ago. Kohl’s Corp. said that it plans to hire about 53,000 seasonal workers, slightly more than last year.
Stores are ramping up, but overall holiday hiring is expected to be relatively flat. Cautious consumers are still a bit uncertain about the economy’s direction. Retailers say as much as 40 percent of their sales come in the year’s final quarter.