Fewer People Applying For Jobs In The Retail Sector
CHELMSFORD, Mass., Oct. 4, 2012 — Kronos Incorporated today announced the October release of the Kronos® Retail Labor Index™, a family of metrics and indices that characterize the current state of the demand and supply sides of the labor market within the U.S. retail sector. The October report includes data for September 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 rose to 4.5 percent in September 2012, its highest level in four years implying improved odds of employment for job seekers in the retail sector.
- Retail Hiring Level: The retailers representing 18,362 distributed locations across the U.S. that make up the Kronosdata sample made 31,776 hires (seasonally adjusted) in September 2012, marking the fourth consecutive monthly decline. Mirroring the recent slowdown in the overall economy, the recovery in hiring has slowed following a strong start to the year, when hires averaged roughly 36,700 in January and February compared to an average of nearly 32,450 over the last two months.
- Retail Applications Level: The number of applications received by retailers included in the Kronos sample fell 10.5 percent in September 2012 to 705,997, the lowest level on record.
- Retail 60-Day Retention Rate: The 60-day retention rate, measured as the number of hires who remain employed for at least the first 60 days divided by the total number of hires made in that month, ticked up to 81.1 percent in May 2012 from 80.8 percent in April 2012 (all on a seasonally adjusted basis). (Note: There is a four-month lag on this indicator as two months are required to measure whether a hire remained employed for 60 days and Kronos customers have two months to return data on separations.)
- Chris Varvares, senior managing director and co-founder, Macroeconomic Advisers
"The Kronos Retail Labor Index rose three-tenths to 4.5 percent in September, the highest reading in four years. While the higher level of the RLI implies better odds of employment for job seekers, it mostly reflects reduced competition rather than a pick-up in hiring. Applications have dropped sharply since the middle of last year, and September’s decline left applications at their lowest level on record. Even with less competition, applicants still face a tough job market as retail hiring has barely moved above the recession lows and has even softened somewhat in recent months. Some of the recent decline in hiring may be attributed to firms holding on to employees longer, indicated by a higher retention rate at firms in the sample. In addition, the recent softening in the overall economy, especially household spending, has likely made retailers more cautious and resulted in delayed hiring decisions. We expect retail hiring to pick up only as the recovery strengthens, improving employer confidence."
- 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”.
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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, hires, 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 100 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.
© 2012 Kronos Incorporated.All rights reserved. Kronos is a registered trademark and Kronos Retail Labor Index is a trademark of Kronos Incorporated or a related company. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.