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Pandemic pushes holiday retail jobs off the sales floor

Amazon announced Tuesday it will be looking to hire another 100,000 workers this holiday season. That’s on top of the nearly 200,000 additional workers brought on earlier this year to help with the surge of e-commerce buying. The pandemic has changed the way Americans shop and what they shop for. And that is changing the way retailers are hiring for the holiday season this year.

Going from the sales floor to the stockroom is emblematic of changes in the pandemic holiday economy, said Daniel Zhao, an economist with job site Glassdoor.

“Christmas isn’t canceled, but the holiday season is going to look very different for retailers and workers alike,” he said.

He found hiring for seasonal and retail jobs is down 8% overall on Glassdoor.

But AnnElizabeth Konkel, an economist with job site Indeed, said hiring in some parts of retail is stronger than ever.

“One that is doing particularly well is loading and stocking,” she said. “That can mean warehousing jobs, that can also mean back-of-store stocking shelves and stores.”

Those jobs tripled compared to past years, and there are now more warehouse jobs in the United States than before the pandemic. That has pushed up wages in the sector despite high unemployment, said Andy Challenger, senior vice president of staffing firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

“The competition for workers that have the technical expertise and the capacity to work in a warehouse is really intense,” he said. “There’s a lot of people that have left the labor market for fear of catching the COVID-19 virus.” Read more via Marketplace

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