Amazon, Retailers Add More Seasonal Headcount As Retail Sales Increase

PHOTO: Workers push carts with merchandise at the Amazon.com Phoenix Fulfillment Center in Phoenix, Nov. 11, 2010.
Joshua Lott/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Online retailer Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) is the latest company to announce it is hiring extra hands for the upcoming holiday season. The Seattle-based firm announced it is hiring 50,000 seasonal workers at its U.S. fulfillment centers.

Amazon currently employs over 20,000 people across its 40 U.S. fulfillment centers.

U.S. retail sales have increased for three months in a row after struggling over the spring. On Monday, the Commerce Department announced that U.S. retail and restaurant sales rose 1.1 percent in September from August while they rose 5.4 percent from the previous year. The Commerce Department also increased its estimate for sales over the summer.

Retail trade association National Retail Federation estimates retailers will add 585,000 to 625,000 hires.

"This is the most optimistic forecast NRF has released since the recession. In spite of the uncertainties that exist in our economy and among consumers, we believe we'll see solid holiday sales growth this year," said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement.

The NRF expects consumers to increase spending 4.1 percent at retailers this holiday season.

50,000 jobs

Amazon

Amazon is hiring 50,000 seasonal workers for its fulfillment centers that aim to distribute products quickly to customers. The company has previously declined to detail how many seasonal workers it hired in 2011. Last year, the Wall Street Journal detailed the ballooning of "Amazon towns" during the holiday season as work-hungry people migrate to earn about $12 an hour plus overtime in places like Fenley, Nev.

80,000 to 90,000 jobs

Target

Target will be one of the largest seasonal employers this year. The retail giant will hire 80,000 to 90,000 seasonal employees this year, which is down from 90,000 employees in 2011, according to Biz Journals. According to the Wall Street Journal, Target's figures are down this year because the Minneapolis-based company hired 30 percent of its seasonal staff from the previous holiday season for year-round positions."

80,000 jobs

Macy's

Department store Macy's Inc. is hiring about 80,000 seasonal associates at its Macy's and Bloomingdale's stores and operations centers, up 2.5 percent from a year ago.

52,700

Kohl's

Last month, Kohl's department store announced plans to add 52,700 season employees this year, up 10 percent from 2011.

50,000 jobs

Walmart

The largest employer in the U.S., Walmart, said it will hire more than 50,000 seasonal workers and give current employees the opportunity to work more this holiday season. Some Walmart workers have threatened to strike on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Those workers say they will strike if the company does not respond to their requests for better treatment and the ability to unionize at some stores.

45,000 jobs

Toys "R" Us

Toy giant Toys "R" Us is hiring 45,000 seasonal workers, up 5,000 from last year.

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