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More People Applying for Jobs, Getting Hired in the Retail Industry

CHELMSFORD, Mass., Sept. 6, 2012 Kronos Incorporated today announced the September 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 September report includes data for August 2012. The analysis and write-up are prepared by Macroeconomic Advisers LLC, and are available on the Kronos Retail Labor Index website.

News Facts

  • 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 declined two-tenths to 3.9 percent in August reflecting gains in both applications and hiring.
  • Retail Hiring Level: The retailers representing 18,362 distributed locations across the U.S. that make up the Kronos data sample made 34,776 hires (seasonally adjusted) in August 2012, partially reversing declines over the previous two months. While hiring has improved since the lows reached following the recession, with total hires so far this year of 280,940 up 6.5 percent from the same period last year, it remains well below levels seen prior to the recession, when firms hired an average of nearly 55,000 workers per month.
  • Retail Applications Level: The number of applications received by retailers included in the Kronos sample rose 8.8 percent to 881,517 in August 2012 from a level in July that was revised substantially higher, all on a seasonally adjusted basis. Even with the gain this month and the large upward revision to the July level, applications still appear to be trending down from highs reached last year, with the level in August nearly 140,000 below its level one year ago.
  • 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, edged down from 80.9 percent in March 2012 to 80.6 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.)

Supporting Quotes

  • Chris Varvares, senior managing director and co-founder, Macroeconomic Advisers
    "The Kronos Retail Labor Index slipped two-tenths to 3.9 percent in August, reflecting a strong rebound in applications that outpaced a moderate increase in hires. Both gains were from levels in July revised significantly higher. While this was the second monthly gain in applications, the downward trend appears intact, suggesting less competition for those seeking retail positions than at this time last year. Meanwhile, the moderate gain in hires partially reversed the decline over the previous two months, leaving hires slightly below the strong readings that started the year. Last month's solid report on retail sales for July was encouraging, but followed several weak reports which had raised concerns over the strength of consumer spending in the near term. Until a strong, sustained recovery in consumer spending emerges, retailers are likely to remain cautious about hiring decisions."

Supporting Resources

  • 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
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  • Take a look at the lighter side of workforce management in our Time Well Spent cartoons.

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.

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© 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.

Contact:

Laura Souza
Kronos Incorporated
+1 978.947.4777
laura.souza@kronos.com        

 

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