Want a job in retail? Don't look for one now. Seriously.

4 months ago by James Mattone in Trends

The holiday season is over. As soon as December 23, Valentine's Day displays were already going up inside stores across the country, and millions of Americans were figuring out where they would work in 2019. After all, those Christmas and Hannukah gifts won't pay for themselves.

So, how would one look for a job after the holiday season? Well, for starters, one wouldn't be looking in the retail sector.

The winter hiring freeze

According to job listings data trends, there aren't too many jobs after the holiday season at several major national retailers, proving a not-often talked about, yet obvious, trope that retail jobs are few and far between after a holiday hiring glut.

Take, for example, Macy's ($NYSE:M), the department store chain known for going all-out for Christmas. For the past three years during the middle of December, the number of jobs listed on its careers website trends downward sharply.

But it's not just the seasonal jobs that dry up; full-time jobs tend to go away too. When taking out all non-full time and non-commission jobs out of the query (done so by filtering out job titles with keywords relating to such positions), a similar negative trend emerges.

Walmart ($NYSE:WMT), the nation's largest brick-and-mortar retailer, also showed a job opening decrease towards the end of this year, as openings peaked during the fall months.

Walmart competitor Target ($NYSE:TGT) job listings show a similar trend. A fall seasonal hiring period gave way to a tough winter for those looking for a retail position, as job listings dropped 47.3% from September to today.

One small exception among the retail giants

Heralded as the "winner of the retail apocalypse," Kohl's ($NYSE:KSS) had the same trend in job listings as its peers; there were 79.09% less job listings on Kohl's careers website today than there were on December 6.

Although Kohl's follows the trends of its competitors, taking away all seasonal and part-time jobs shows an extraordinary hiring pattern for the largest department store chain in America. Rather than showing another, equally large, decline in job openings, there is only a slight drop in listings for non-seasonal and non-part-time jobs at the retailer from the fall to late December. And, in fact, the worst day for job listings in recent months wasn't even in December; it was October 30, when only 479 positions were listed.

Still, the overall trend remains: across the country, the largest retailers in the world hire less after the holidays. And it makes sense; seasonal workers get offered full-time jobs after working hard during the busy season, and cash-strapped consumers who are reeling after holiday spending — and right before tax season — aren't busting down doors in increased demand.

Should you want to find work during the winter months, it may be tougher to look in the retail sector. But, as always with national trends, results may vary.

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James Mattone

James is the Associate Editor at Thinknum Media, and he has an interest in video games, music, and tech news. You can find him on Twitter @TheJamesMattone.

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