NewsCovering Colorado


Employers cut back on seasonal hiring ahead of the holidays

Seasonal hiring
Posted at 8:17 AM, Oct 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-05 12:09:15-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Seasonal hiring is starting for companies nationwide, but this year employers are not jumping at the hiring rush like normal. Experts say this could be a warning sign for a possible recession.

Although retail sales climbed 0.3% in August, employers are still weary about hiring as many seasonal employees as possible. Large corporations, like Walmart, are cutting back on seasonal hiring, slashing their seasonal workforce from 150,000 new hires last year to only 40,000 this season.

Employers are still facing the reality of high inflation and a tight labor market, which we have seen follow us since the pandemic.

Molly Fish is the owner of Urbane Collective, a women's clothing boutique in Colorado Springs. She said they hope to hire around four to six seasonal employees this year, but availability and commitment is the hardest thing to find at this time, especially with what they can offer employees in this market.

"The cost of living is hard and when you're working in a boutique that's small and local, it's hard to pay a living wage. So I have to keep that in mind when I look for people to hire. So that's concerning and then that people can just commit to work," she said.

Thelatest numbersfrom the Bureau of Labor Statistics in August show that there are around two job openings for every unemployed person. That means hiring is extremely competitive right now, especially for seasonal retail. Fish said hiring employees is one of their biggest concerns right now as the labor market remains tight.

"I get a lot of interest from high school age girls or moms that stay home with kids. They can only work limited hours, so the flexibility and availability of most people is hard. We will see what my current employees are and how long, you know, they are committed for, but I am nervous when we go into the holidays for sure," she said.

KOAA reached out to other retail shops in the area. Most of them said they aren't thinking about seasonal hiring right now, and some aren't taking in any new hires at all.

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