'Tis (Already) the Season for Holiday Workers in Dayton, Ohio

September 19, 2019
Author: Tyran Saffold Jr

Retailers have to anticipate consumer demand to ensure they have the right products in the right quantities ready for consumption, and at no time is this preparation more critical than the holiday season. Generating sales requires volumes of retail support personnel, which is why so many big brands are already campaigning in September for holiday seasonal workers.

Seasonal Retail Workers Already in High Demand

Day Jobs in Dayton

Dayton may only be the 63rd largest metro in the nation, but it has big plans for Black Friday and the December holiday season. While the unemployment rate for the area is at 4.5 percent as of July, Dayton’s wages are historically lower than the national average, which may boost the need for some to find part-time and seasonal work. The demographics filling most part-time jobs, which are categorized as working 35 hours or less per week, include retirees, students, traditionally unemployed (between jobs) and gig economy workers looking for additional income.

Within Dayton, retailers like Big Lots and Banana Republic have already posted job openings while household brands like UPS, Amazon and Target have said the area will be home to thousands of seasonal employees.

Across the nation, the number of employees needed rises exponentially with Target forecasting it will hire 130,000 seasonal workers and UPS anticipating the need to hire 100,000. Kohl’s also says it needs to fill about 3,000 jobs around the U.S.

Increasing Employee Benefits

Because of the sheer volume of employees in demand during a tight labor market, some companies are beefing up their benefits to entice new hires. For example, UPS is offering up to $1,300 in tuition reimbursement for seasonal workers in select markets while Target is increasing its minimum wage to $13 (which is a $4.45 per hour increase for Dayton employees). Amazon, which announced it plans to hire tens of thousands of employees around the U.S., offers a competitive $15 per hour minimum wage.

Retail Outlook

The National Retail Federation (NRF) is predicting retail sales growth of up to 4.4 percent by year end, for a total of up to $3.84 trillion. By comparison, retail sales grew by 4.6 percent from 2017 to 2018 for a total of $3.68 trillion.

Across the tracked spending events by NRF that have already taken place including back-to-school shopping, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, sales have increased from 2018 to 2019 and winter holiday sales are expected to continue the trend. In 2018, holiday retail sales increased by 2.9 percent from the previous year.

As expected, retailers are not immune to the challenges of a tight employment market. Some are taking a page from Starbucks and wisely widening benefit packages to attract talent.