For Retailers This Holiday Season, Good Help Will Be Hard To Find
Author: Joan Verdon
Retailers during the upcoming holiday season could find themselves without enough seasonal elves to stock their shelves.
More importantly, they could find themselves without enough helpers to process those increasingly crucial, and labor intensive “buy online, pick up in store”, and curbside delivery orders.
Competition for seasonal retail workers is expected to be fiercer than ever this year, fueled by low unemployment and forecasts for healthy holiday sales. That competition, and new digital tools that let seasonal employees shop around for the best-paying part-time jobs, will drive up labor costs for retailers.
Reports this week by online jobs platform Wonolo and employment website Indeed.com show that demand for workers, and the wages retailers will have to pay them, are on the rise.
“In recent years we’ve seen the holiday season become crazier and crazier in terms of the demand” for seasonal employees,” said Beatrice Pang, vice president of strategy and finance at online jobs platform Wonolo.
This year, Pang said, “we see a very visible increase in demand,” for seasonal workers.
Employers seeking workers on the Wonolo platform this holiday season can expect to pay an average of $15.19 an hour, the report said. That hourly wage will be significantly higher in high-demand parts of the country, such as Southern California, where the average is $18.59 per hour, or the New York metro area, where it is !8.41 per hour.