The holiday hiring binge is accelerating for retailers such as Target Corp. and Macy's Inc., which add thousands of workers to process surging online orders. E-commerce sites double or even quadruple their warehouse staff. Online giant Amazon.com Inc. adds to the hiring frenzy, as do logistics companies and package-delivery services such as United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp. Some firms posted their first holiday job listings as early as July.
But with unemployment at near-record lows, employers are going the extra mile to ensure they have enough workers come December. Companies are bumping up pay, loosening disciplinary policies and even operating bus routes.
“It’s the tightest labor market we’ve ever seen,” said Sean McCartney, executive vice president of operation services at Radial, which handles online orders for e-commerce companies and national chains such as Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. and Aéropostale Inc.
Some big retailers are doing the bulk of their hiring in warehouses that handle online orders, a sign they expect more shoppers to visit their websites instead of stores. Last year, online retail sales jumped 13 percent in November and December, compared with a 7-percent decline at department stores, according to the National Retail Federation.
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