Hiring surge begins for home improvement retailers

Home Depot expects to be busy this spring and is hiring 80,000 seasonal employees, 10,000 more than last year, to keep pace with the demand.

The hiring announcement by Home Depot follows a similar announcement by Lowe’s two weeks earlier that it planned to hire 45,000 seasonal employees. The increased hiring levels suggest the nation’s two largest home improvement retailers are optimistic about consumers demand amid a recovery in the housing market.

"Spring is always a special season for us, when we can offer employment opportunities for literally tens of thousands of Americans," said Tim Crow, EVP of human resources for Home Depot. "We find some of our best associates during our peak season, and many of them have built long, meaningful careers with us."

Home Depot operates 2,256 stores in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Two weeks earlier, Lowe’s said it planned to hire approximately 45,000 seasonal employees as well as 9,000 permanent part-time employees at its 1,745 stores in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Seasonal employees typically work between 20 and 25 hours per week throughout the spring and summer when Home Depot and Lowe’s stores are busiest with contractors and do-it-yourselfers are taking on indoor and outdoor projects. Many of the positions entail demanding, physical labor, but with the nation’s unemployment rate stubbornly hovering around 8% both retailers are likely to have plenty of interest from job seekers.

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