Halloween is in the rearview mirror and Black Friday is on the horizon. As such, retailers and logistics providers are gearing up for the annual holiday logistics crunch. The National Retail Federation (NRF) has stated that holiday spending is expected to be healthy even with recent inflationary challenges, and it forecasts that holiday retail sales during November and December will grow between 6 percent and 8 percent over 2021 to between $942.6 billion and $960.4 billion.
NRF indicates that the retail industry alone hires somewhere around 500,000 temporary workers for the holiday season. However, those numbers might be smaller this year. Seasonal hiring is expected to plunge by nearly 40 percent this holiday season as retail, warehouse, and transportation companies dramatically cut back amid decades-high inflation and fears of a looming recession, according to new data. The three key sectors plan to add 592,400 seasonal employees, which is a 37 percent drop from the 940,300 hires announced last year. As we’ve done in years past, let’s check in to see how some of the largest logistics providers and retailers are handling the holiday logistics rush.
Amazon said it will hire 150,000 full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees across its warehouses ahead of the holiday season. This is line with the number of employees brought on last year, and is part of the company’s overall expansion strategy. Workers can earn an average pay of $19 per hour, based on their position and location within the US. Amazon also announced that it would raise its average pay for frontline workers by a dollar, a move aimed towards attracting more employees in a tight labor market. It also said it would make changes so employees can get paid more frequently than one or twice a month.
Target plans to hire 100,000 seasonal workers for the holidays and started offering markdowns the first week of October. Last year, Target pushed for increasing the pay of holiday employees working the busiest shifts by adding an extra $2 per hour to their paychecks. Now, in 2022, some of the same workers will have to settle for raffle tickets instead, as only workers at select Target stores across the US will benefit from the extra pay. In these other stores employees may get a chance to win “small prizes” for taking on the more demanding shifts, but not additional pay. The company said the new workers will be hired after existing Target workers are given a chance to set their holiday shifts. Target hired the same number of workers for the 2021 shopping season, after hiring 130,000 the previous year. Starting wages range between $15 and $24 an hour.
UPS is hiring more than 100,000 seasonal workers (in line with the last 2 years). These positions are for seasonal delivery and CDL drivers, package handlers, and driver helpers. Seasonal drivers with UPS start at $21 per hour, with tractor-trailer drivers making as much as $35 per hour. Package handler starting wages can range from $15 to $21 per hour. The company continues to streamline its job hiring process and most hires require only 25 minutes , from filling out of an online application to receiving an offer.
FedEx recently warned that a slowing global economy hurt the level of shipments it handled in August and expects the slowdown to continue in the coming months, perhaps resulting in a global recession. The company is preparing for a moderate peak season in terms of demand and has the space to onboard new customers during the holidays. At the same time, it announced a number of cost-cutting moves, including grounding planes and trimming staff hours. Last year the company announced it expected to hire 90,000 people ahead of the holidays, but this year FedEx skipped its traditional hiring announcement. While specific numbers have been made available, the company will hire fewer seasonal employees this year.
The United States Postal Service (USPS) is actively hiring 28,000 seasonal employees. The postal service is also hiring an additional 1,000 truck drivers, along with letter carriers, and processing team members, according to USPS.com. In addition to seasonal employment, USPS is actively hiring for full-time and part-time positions.
Walmart has announced it is hiring 40,000 seasonal workers, which is down from 150,000 last year. Between an uncertain economy and a tight labor market, companies are unsure of how many workers to hire and how to even recruit them. Walmart said it’s in a stronger staffing position heading into the holidays than last year and is now focusing on hiring only seasonal workers, rather than permanent workers.
Finally, it wouldn’t be the holiday season if people didn’t stress out about holiday shipping deadlines. Here are the deadlines to keep in mind for your own holiday logistics planning.