Chelmsford, Mass. Kronos released on Monday its third monthly retail labor index, showing that hiring by U.S. retailers in September and October sank to its lowest level in three years.
Despite an increase in hiring over the past few months, the report shows signs that retailers are planning conservatively for the holiday season.
The most recent index reveals that in September, only 2.58% of applications resulted in hires, the fewest since Kronos began compiling its retail labor index in August 2006. Hiring increased to 2.9% in October, still below the August rate of 3%.
The 68 retailers representing 27,034 distributed locations across the United States, who made up the Kronos data sample, recorded 40,193 hires in September and 44,544 hires in October. September’s figure represented a 6.22% drop from August, the first drop in the level of hires since January, the report said. This was followed in October by a 13.31% increase.
While the level of applications received by retailers in September and October has increased each year since 2006, the cumulative number of hires made in each of those years has decreased and is currently at its lowest point since 2006, indicating that retailers are expecting a slow holiday sales season.