Chelmsford, Mass. Retention hiring in the retail sector has increased, which economists believe will lead to more retails sales and hirings in the near future, according to Kronos’ Retail Labor Index.
Kronos’ report includes metrics and indices that analyze the relationship between the demand and supply sides of the labor market within the U.S. retail sector, and provide a distinct and early indicator of the overall state of the economy.
The 68 retailers representing 27,034 distributed locations across the United States that make up the Kronos data sample recorded 49,185 hirings (on a seasonally adjusted basis) in March 2010, an increase of 8.89% from the February 2010 seasonally adjusted figure of 44,113. This number was 26.63% higher than the 36,088 hirings recorded in March 2009.
Meanwhile, the supply of applications decreased 16.37% to a seasonally adjusted level of 1,175,169 in March, an acceleration of the trend of declining application levels seen between January and February 2010. The March 2010 figure represented a 7.51% increase over the 1,263,376 applications processed in March 2009.
Employee retention continued to increase. Employees were 6.01% more likely to have a length of service of 60 days or more in March 2010 as compared with a year ago, the report said.
"The Kronos Retail Labor Index is up this month significantly from last month, which is good news for employees looking for a job in retail,” said Dr. Robert Yerex, chief economist, Kronos. “In the next 18-24 months, we expect to see retail sales and hiring increase, though not to the levels they were at in 2008. We expect that a full 20% of the jobs lost in the recession are not likely to return."