Retail Hiring at Highest Level Since End of Recession

October report shows retail hiring up 12.6% in September.

Kronos Inc. has released the Kronos Retail Labor Index, a family of metrics and indices that characterize the current state of the demand and supply sides of the labor market within the U.S. retail sector.

The analysis and write-up prepared by Macroeconomic Advisers LLC shows The Kronos Retail Labor Index rose to 3.9% in September 2011, reflecting a strong gain in hires and a modest decline in applications, all on a seasonally adjusted basis. The Kronos Retail Labor Index is defined as the ratio of hires to applicants within a given month, expressed as a percentage. A level of 3% means that for every 100 applications received, three hires occurred.

Retail hiring level was up 12.6% in September 2011 from an upwardly revised 33,974 hires in August 2011. The retailers representing 18,362 distributed locations across the U.S. that make up the Kronos data sample made 38,252 hires in September, the highest in nearly three years and 16% above its level one year ago and the highest level in nearly three years.”

“The recent sharp uptick in hiring, coupled with a rise in monthly applications since earlier this year, suggests that retail labor market activity is picking up,” said Chris Varvares, senior managing director and co-founder, Macroeconomic Advisers.

 The number of applications received by retailers in the Kronos sample fell 1.7% to 985,915 in September 2011, from an upwardly revised 1,003,265 in August 2011, all on a seasonally adjusted basis.

The 60-day retention rate, measured as the number of hires who remain employed for at least the first 60 days divided by the total number of hires made in that month, edged down to 83.4% (seasonally adjusted) in May from 84.2% in April (Note: There is a four-month lag on this indicator as two months are required to measure whether a hire remained employed for 60 days and Kronos customers have two months to return data on separations.)

Organizations that use Kronos hiring solutions employ approximately 15% of the U.S. consumer retail labor market, providing Kronos with a unique set of data on employee job applications, hires, and length of service. The Kronos Retail Labor Index is released on a monthly basis. For more information: www.kronos.com/retail-labor-index.

 

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