New York City -- The Labor Department’s November report indicated that retailers didn't hire as many new workers during the month as they traditionally do at this time of year, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The report showed retailers are extending hours of existing workers and some may have hired earlier this year than usual.
The labor department reported that retailers employed 14.4 million workers in November, just 55,000 below last November's level. But the details of the report showed that, before holiday hiring adjustments, the retail industry added 432,600 jobs in the past two months, which surpasses the 366,700 it added in the same months of 2009 and suggests that holiday hiring started earlier this year.
The Labor Department report suggested that many retailers are asking their workers, many part-time, to work longer hours. The average retail workweek in November was 31.3 hours, up from 31.2 hours a year ago. And aggregate hours worked -- the total number of hours worked by all retail employees per week -- was 0.7% above year-ago levels.
WSJ reported that some analysts said retail hiring may be more vibrant than the government data showed, in part because this year's survey was conducted earlier -- and excluded anyone hired after Nov. 12.