Retailers hired 423,500 people in November for the holidays, the biggest hiring surge for the month since 2007, outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. said Monday
Retailers hired 465,400 people in November 2007, just before the recession began.
Challenger, Gray & Christmas, which looked at non-seasonally adjusted data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, said there was 27 percent more hiring last month than a year earlier, when 332,700 seasonal workers were added to retail payrolls. In November 2008, during the peak of the recession, 213,500 workers were hired.
John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said stronger-than-expected sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday could lead to still more hiring and put this December's hiring level above December 2010.
Research firm comScore Inc. said Sunday that online sales on the Monday after Thanksgiving, now known as Cyber Monday, reached $1.25 billion, making it the biggest online shopping day ever.
Sales at stores on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, were $11.4 billion, up 7 percent, or nearly $1 billion, from a year earlier, according to a November report from ShopperTrak. That's the largest amount ever spent on the day after Thanksgiving, traditionally considered the first day of the holiday shopping season.
Chicago-based ShopperTrak gathers data from 25,000 entities across the U.S., including individual stores and shopping centers.
The holiday shopping season can make up to 40 percent of retailers' annual revenue. This year's holiday shopping has risen with help from discounting and promotions.
Retailers have added 547,200 employees for the holiday season to date. This compares with 476,800 employees added in October and November 2010.
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