Stores and distribution centers are likely to add 665,800 workers to their head counts from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas predicts. The bulk of the hires will be made in October.
But that's an 11-percent drop from last year, when 751,800 seasonal workers joined retailers' ranks, sending the measure to a 12-year high. The upswing was the fourth straight annual increase in holiday hiring since 2008, when the number of temporary workers added was the smallest in nearly three decades.
The holiday season makes up a major chunk of annual retail sales — 20 percent by some counts. And this year the period may be even more stressful than usual for companies.
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