Holiday hiring to hold steady despite retail rebound

20101126-174501-pic-346492532_5604183_ver1.0_320_240Kitsap County employers will hire about 420 workers for the holiday season, according to a state estimate.

That would put holiday hiring down slightly from 2014, when Kitsap businesses added 465 in October, November and December.

The Employment Security Department is projecting holiday hiring statewide to be roughly even with 2014. Washington employers hired 14,753 holiday workers last year. The state predicts 15,066 will be hired this year.

“Sales growth, particularly during the holiday season, has remained steady over recent years,” state labor economist Paul Turek said in a news release. “An improving jobs picture has supported consumer spending and should lead to a positive retail season in Washington.”

BFshoppinggetty_1415633215503_9537346_ver1.0_640_480The bulk of the seasonal hiring will be in general merchandise stores, adding 8,064 jobs. Clothing and clothing-accessory stores expect to hire 3,929 holiday workers, according to the department.

Kitsap County has added jobs in recent years. Retail sales have rebounded from the recession.

But if projections hold true, those trends have yet to translate into happier holidays for Kitsap’s under-employed.

In a conversation Thursday, Turek pointed to two factors that may temper holiday hiring.

First, shoppers are more likely to buy online, which lessens the need for actual human beings to run cash registers and stock shelves.

Second, employers have been hiring more workers earlier in the year, which means they are more likely to extend holiday hours for their existing employees rather than hire temporary help.

Here’s a breakdown of holiday hiring projections in Washington (Bremerton = all of Kitsap County):

holiday.hiring

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