Kronos Retail Labor Index Shows Retail Hiring Continues to Slowly Improve
NEW YORK, Jan. 16, 2012 — Kronos Incorporated today announced the release of a year-in-review report on the Kronos® Retail Labor Index™, a family of metrics and indices, released monthly, that characterize the current state of the demand and supply sides of the labor market within the U.S. retail sector. The year-in-review report analyzes the trends observed in 2011 and sheds light on what is to come in 2012. The analysis and write-up are prepared by Macroeconomic Advisers LLC, and are available on the Kronos Retail Labor Index website.
- The Kronos Retail Labor Index: (This index is defined as the ratio of hires to applications within a given month, expressed as a percentage. A level of 3.0 percent means that for every 100 applications received, three hires occurred). The Kronos Retail Labor Index ended 2011 at 3.5 percent, in line with the annual average for the year.
- After dipping in the first quarter of 2011, the Retail Labor Index regained some of the momentum that began in mid-2010, reaching a three-year high of 4.1 percent in September 2011.
- On average, the Retail Labor Index strengthened to 3.7 percent in the second half of the year from 3.4 percent in the first.
- The stronger momentum in the Retail Labor Index heading into 2012 is consistent with reports on national retail employment, which have been solid in recent months and suggest that this sector of the labor market is gaining strength.
- Retail Hiring Level: The retailers representing 18,362 distributed locations across the U.S. that make up the Kronos data sample averaged 33,000 hires per month in 2011, up about 4 percent from 2010 and 9 percent from 2009.
- Retail hiring picked up in early 2011, rising nearly 13 percent from the first quarter to the second.
- The steady pace of hiring that began in the second quarter supports the notion that hiring conditions in the retail sector are stabilizing, after deteriorating during the recession.
- Even with the modest improvement over 2011, hiring remains well below levels seen prior to the recession, when hires averaged close to 55,000 per month.
- Retail Applications Level: The improvement in the Retail Labor Index over 2011 partly reflected a downward trend in applications beginning mid-year. The decline in applications over the second half more than reversed increases over the first few months of 2011, leaving applications down 2.9 percent from the December 2010 level.
- On average, retail firms in the Kronos sample received approximately 950,000 applications per month in 2011, broadly consistent with their average over the previous two years.
- Applications in 2011 remained elevated compared to pre-recession levels, with the average up 23 percent from 2007.
- The stable yet elevated level of applications suggests that the retail sector continues to attract job seekers, as overall labor market conditions remain soft, and that job prospects outside of retail were little changed over the last year.
- Chris Varvares, senior managing director and co-founder, Macroeconomic Advisers
"Levels of the Kronos Retail Labor Index in 2011 remained broadly consistent with those seen in 2010, up only slightly from 2009, and well below pre-recession levels, indicating that the pace of recovery in retail hiring remains slow. Still, the positive trend gives retailers reason to be optimistic that conditions will continue to improve in 2012."
- Organizations that use Kronos hiring solutions employ approximately 15 percent of the U.S. consumer retail labor market, providing Kronos with a unique set of data on employee job applications, hires, and length of service.
- The Kronos Retail Labor Index is released on a monthly basis. Go to www.kronos.com/retail-labor-index to access: the full report; a schedule of upcoming Retail Labor Index release dates; the Retail Labor Index methodology; and downloadable graphics.
- Note to reporters: cite findings as "Kronos Retail Labor Index."
- About Macroeconomic Advisers, LLC
- Kronos made this announcement from the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 101st Annual Convention and Expo being in held in New York from Jan. 15-17. Kronos is exhibiting in booth #1925.
About the Kronos Retail Labor Index
The Kronos Retail Labor Index is a family of metrics and indices that analyze the relationship between the demand and the supply sides of the labor market within the U.S. retail sector. It is derived from a single, unified data set, allowing for statistically appropriate comparisons and time series-based trending analysis. Firms that use Kronos hiring solutions employ approximately 15 percent of the U.S. consumer retail labor market, providing Kronos with a unique set of data on employee job applications, hirings, and length of service. The Kronos Retail Labor Index provides a distinct and early indicator of the health of the retail sector.
About Kronos Incorporated
Kronos is the global leader in workforce management solutions that enable organizations to control labor costs, minimize compliance risk, and improve workforce productivity. Tens of thousands of organizations in 60 countries — including more than half of the Fortune 1000® — use Kronos time and attendance, scheduling, absence management, HR and payroll, hiring, and labor analytics applications. To learn how Kronos uniquely delivers complete automation and high-quality information in an easy-to-use solution, visit www.kronos.com.
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