Major retailers begin holiday hiring process

While Thursday marks the first day of autumn, retailers are looking ahead to winter and the holiday shopping season.

Macy’s is one of many businesses that are staffing up before the shopping season ramps up, and is holding a job fair at its stores and warehouses Thursday.

The Macy’s job fair lasts until 6 p.m. at Macy’s stores Thursday and until 3 p.m. at its warehouses.

Retail experts predict holiday shopping will start earlier than ever this year to avoid price hikes amid inflation.

Target is starting its sales promotions early this year on Oct. 6. The company is looking to bring on 100,000 seasonal workers for the holidays, which is about the same amount as last year.

Walmart is taking a different, more cautious approach to hiring this season, looking to add about 40,000 workers across the country. However, most of those positions are seasonal.

A year ago, Walmart was looking to hire around 150,000 workers, with most of those being permanent positions.

This year’s holiday hiring comes during a record low unemployment rate in Minnesota, which currently sits just under 2%.

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While that means there’s a smaller hiring pool, some experts say companies should still be able to get enough workers in time for the big shopping season.

“There’ll be some shortages, but it won’t be quite as bad as I think what a lot of people expect because there’s this supply and demand aspect. There’s the companies are demanding fewer employees than what they historically have in general, and there’s fewer people willing to give up their Christmas time to take on a second job,” said Dave Vang, a finance professor at the University of St. Thomas.

A forecast from a global consulting firm predicts holiday sales will be up anywhere from 4% to 7%, below last year’s growth of 16%.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated Macy’s was planning to hire 76,000 seasonal and permanent employees. That was last year’s plan and the company hasn’t yet released plans for this year.