December 5, 2008

Seasonal hiring about half of 2007 levels

U.S. retailers put an extra 217,200 people to work in November, the smallest number of employees added in the month since 1988, a private research firm said.

In 1988, only 194,000 seasonal employees found work in November, Challenger, Gray & Christmas said Friday.

Retail hiring this November dropped 53 percent from a year ago, when 458,000 found jobs.

Including October, retail has added 271,900 jobs. A year ago in the same period, U.S. retailers added 539,300 to their payrolls.

Projecting forward, retailers are on track to hire 350,000 seasonal workers this year, the lowest level since 1982, the report said.