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The latest news, trends and information to help you with your recruiting efforts.

Posted January 09, 2013 by

8 Tips For Employers Who Want to Prevent Workers From Spreading the Flu

Middle aged, woman sick with flu sneezes into a tissue

Woman with flu sneezes into tissue. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

With three months remaining in what is already being called the worst flu season in a decade, employers around the country are undoubtedly feeling the financial impact of increased health care costs and widespread absenteeism.  Making matters worse, according to one workplace authority, is the tendency of employees concerned about job security to keep coming to the office despite their apparent illness.

“The economy is still on shaky ground and many workers continue to be worried about losing their jobs, despite the fact that annual layoffs are at the lowest level since the late 1990s.  In this environment, workers are reluctant to call in sick or even use vacation days.  Of course, this has significant negative consequences for the workplace, where the sick worker is not only performing at a reduced capacity but also likely to infect others,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. (more…)

Posted January 07, 2013 by

10.3% More Seasonal Hires in 2012 Than 2012

John Challenger of Challenger, Gray & Christmas

John Challenger of Challenger, Gray & Christmas

Despite some year-end uncertainty related to fiscal cliffs, a devastating hurricane and election-year politicking, retailers were confident enough in the final three months of 2012 to ramp up holiday hiring to its highest level in six years, according to an analysis of government employment data released by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Employment in the retail sector increased by a net 728,300 jobs, between October 1 and December 31, according to non-seasonally adjusted data, released last week by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.  That is 10.3 percent higher than 2011, when retailers added 660,200 extra workers over the final three months of the year.  The nearly 730,000 retail jobs added this year represents the strongest year-end hiring surge since 2006, when employment in the sector increased by 746,900. (more…)

Posted January 03, 2013 by

December Layoffs Lowest Since 1997

John Challenger of Challenger, Gray & Christmas

John Challenger of Challenger, Gray & Christmas

After three consecutive months of  increased layoff activity, the number of  planned job cuts announced in December plunged to 32,556, the second lowest monthly total of 2012.  Overall, the year ends with the lowest 12-month job-cut total since 1997, according to the latest report from global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The 32,556 planned job cuts announced last month were 43 percent fewer than the 57,081 November cuts.  The December total was 22 percent lower than a year ago, when employers announced 41,785 in the final month of the year.  The only month in 2012 to see fewer job cuts than December was August, when job cuts totaled 32,239.

Despite the December decline, planned layoffs in the fourth quarter were up 33 percent from the previous quarter.  Employers announced 137,361 job cuts in the final three months of year, compared to 102,910 in the third quarter.  The third-quarter total was the lowest quarterly total since 81,568 job cuts were announced in the second quarter of 2000. (more…)

Posted December 18, 2012 by

72% of Employers Offering Year-End Bonuses, Up From 53% in 2011

As the nation’s economy continued to improve in 2012, so did employers’ generosity when it comes to rewarding worker contributions to success.  Results of a new survey show that 72 percent of employers plan to offer some type of year-end bonus this year, up from 53 percent a year ago.

John Challenger of Challenger, Gray & Christmas

John Challenger of Challenger, Gray & Christmas

The survey of human resources executives conducted by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. found that nearly 28 percent of employers will hand out bonus checks based on the company’s annual performance.  Another 17 percent said their companies will award bonuses to a select group of employees based on individual performance.

The results of the non-scientific survey were based on approximately 100 responses to an e-mail poll distributed in November.  Among those responding, only 21 percent said no bonuses would be distributed this year.  In contrast, the 2011 survey saw more than 43 percent say no bonuses would be handed out that year. (more…)

Posted December 10, 2012 by

Retailers Hired 465,500 Seasonal Works in November — All-Time Record

John Challenger of Challenger, Gray & Christmas

John Challenger of Challenger, Gray & Christmas

Retailers added 465,500 seasonal workers in November, the most ever added during what is typically the busiest hiring month of the holiday hiring season, according to an analysis of non-seasonally adjusted data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics by global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The net gain in retail employment achieved last month barely surpassed the previous record set in 2007, when retail payrolls grew by 465,400 workers during the month of November.    (more…)

Posted November 15, 2012 by

Retail Workers, Consumers Upset With Thanksgiving Day Hours

John Challenger of Challenger, Gray & Christmas

John Challenger of Challenger, Gray & Christmas

Facing increased competition from online retailers, a growing number of brick-and-mortar stores, including Target, Sears and Walmart, have announced that they will begin Black Friday sales on the Thursday of Thanksgiving, with some stores opening as early as 8pm, a time many employees might otherwise spend with family.  The move, according to one workplace authority, is likely to pay off for both retailers and job seekers, but warns there is the risk of negative fallout in the form of decreased employee morale and consumer backlash.

“Retailers are under immense pressure to get the holiday shopping season off to a strong start.  It is the busiest time of the year for them and Black Friday is so named because it is the day when most retailers’ sales move ‘into the black’ for the year.  As big box chains face growing competition from discounters like Target and Walmart, not to mention the fierce competition from online retailers like Amazon.com, they are all compelled to find whatever edge they can to get shoppers into their stores,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. (more…)

Posted November 05, 2012 by

Retailers Add Additional 130,000 Jobs for Holidays

While several large retailers have announced large-scale holiday hiring plans, employment gains in the retail sector last month were virtually unchanged from a year ago, according to an analysis of the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data by global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

John Challenger of Challenger, Gray & Christmas

John Challenger of Challenger, Gray & Christmas

The 130,100 retail job gains last month were only slightly more than the 128,900 retail jobs added in October 2011.  The first month of holiday hiring both this year and last were down significantly from the 149,800 retail jobs created in October 2010.

While 2011 started slowly, retailers added another 531,300 workers in November and December for a total of 660,200 seasonal employment gains, the highest level since 2007.  In 2008 — the worst holiday-hiring season in 22 years — retailers added only 38,600 seasonal workers in October and only 324,000 total workers during entire holiday season of October through December.   (more…)

Posted November 01, 2012 by

Job Cuts Up From September But Down From a Year Ago

John Challenger of Challenger, Gray & Christmas

John Challenger of Challenger, Gray & Christmas

Planned job cuts by U.S.-based employers surged 41 percent in October to 47,724, as a spate of layoff announcements in the wake of weak quarterly earnings reports helped push downsizing activity to its highest level in five months, according to the report on monthly job cuts released Thursday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The October surge follows a relatively mild September, during which employers announced 33,816 job cuts, which was the second lowest monthly total in the last 22 months.  October was the highest job-cut month since May, when 61,887 planned layoffs were announced.  It was up 12 percent from the same month a year ago, when employers announced plans to trim payrolls by 42,759 workers.   (more…)

Posted October 16, 2012 by

Announced Seasonal Hires at 463,925 After Amazon Announces Plans to Hire 50,000

Amazon.com CEO Jeff BezosAmazon will hire 50,000 temporary workers for the holiday season, adding to the ever-growing list of seasonal hires. Similar announcements have come from big-box retailers Wal-Mart and Target, as well as from Toys R Us, Macy’s, JC Penney, and Best Buy.

John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of international outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. predicts this year will see better hiring than last, but we are far from pre-recession levels. (more…)

Posted September 24, 2012 by

Seasonal Hiring Projected to Increase Holiday Season

John Challenger of Challenger, Gray & ChristmasWhile solid back-to-school sales boosted the confidence of retailers heading into the all-important holiday season, the possibility of increased sales this year may not be enough to spur a significant increase in seasonal hiring, according to the outlook released Monday by global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

In its annual holiday hiring forecast, Challenger estimated that seasonal job gains are likely to be slightly higher than a year ago but still below pre-recession levels.  Those hoping to take advantage of the seasonal hiring should act early, as several sizable hiring plans announced by major retailers in September suggest that recruiting may start before October.

Last year, retail payrolls saw a non-seasonally adjusted net gain of 660,200 workers from October through December.  That was up just 1.9 percent from 2010, when retail employment increased by 647,600 workers during the holiday hiring season.  Prior to the recession, from 2004 through 2007, retail employment grew by an average of more than 722,000 over the final three months of the year. (more…)