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Retail Business Typically Staff Up Toward the End of the Year to Meet Holiday Shopping Demand. Most large retail stores hire additional seasonal staff for the holiday season, typically beginning in October to prepare for black friday sales events, to meet expected holiday shopping demand. Historically, the retail sector in California has added about 100,000 jobs in October, November, and December. Most added retail hiring occurs in October and November each year.

Retail Hiring Sluggish This Holiday Season for Second Year in a Row. Retail businesses added 56,000 jobs in October and November this year, about two-thirds the average holiday hiring for these two months during the prior ten years. This year's sluggish holiday hiring follows a slow year last year in which retail businesses added just 50,000 jobs in October and November. 

Slowdown in Retail Holiday Hiring Could Reflect Shift to Online Holiday Sales... Over the past 15 years, consumers have shifted more and more of their retail purchases to online retailers. The slowdown in brick-and-morter store holiday hiring might reflect this shift in consumer behavior, which was accellerated during the pandemic when many consumers avoided or minimized in-person shopping. We might expect to see addiitonal holiday season hiring in the transportation and warehousing sectors, where online orders are packaged and delivered.

... But Transportation and Warehousing Jobs Showing Weak Holiday Trend As Well. Sluggish retail store holiday hiring does not appear to be showing up in added transportation and warehousing jobs this holiday season. The figure below shows that seasonal hiring for these jobs has been below-average as well, especially relative to the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021. 


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