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November 25 2019

A Strong Holiday Shopping Season to Deliver Workers a Big Pay Day

by Patrice Lee Onwuka

This holiday shopping season is expected to be great for the retail industry and seasonal workers can expect to cash in. 

Black Friday deals already started flooding my email box on the Sunday before Thanksgiving -- and I admit partaking in a little shopping. 

A strong anticipated spending season demands workers, and in an economy with super-low unemployment, retailers will shell out more or get creative to attract seasonal workers. 

Big Holiday Spending Expected in 2019

Retailers are looking forward to Americans opening their wallets wide and spending significantly this season.

The National Retail Federation predicts spending will rise between 3.8 and 4.2 percent from last year to a total of between $727.9 billion and $730.7 billion. That beats an average 3.7 percent increase over the past five years.

The five-day shopping spree from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday is one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year. Retailers estimate that 165.3 million people are likely to shop during this unofficial holiday shopping kick-off weekend.

Good Policies are Driving the Strong Economy

The unemployment rate is 3.6 percent. We haven’t had such low unemployment since the 1960s. Women, blacks and other minorities are also experiencing historically-low unemployment rates. 

Wage growth is picking up and median household income has hit a record-high of nearly $62,000. 

American families have more money in their pockets this year and they feel good about their financial position -- good enough to spend.

Deregulation, tax cuts, and tax reform are to thank for the sustained economic expansion that’s ten years old and counting. These are policies that grow the economy. 

At $2.59 per gallon nationally, relatively low gas prices are also leaving more money in the family budget for shopping and travel.

Trade policy continues to loom in the background of retail, but it’s safe to say that when shoppers hit stores or scroll websites, they won’t be thinking about tariffs and trade deals.

Workers Cash In

NRF expects retailers to hire between 530,000 to 590,000 temporary workers to handle the holiday shopping season. 

When unemployment is so low, employers will employ different strategies to attract workers. Many big retailers started recruiting early this summer to find workers.

Even more encouraging, employers are reportedly boosting wages and hours and adding perks like bigger employee discounts.

For seasonal retail workers looking to bank extra cash, this should be a good year for their paychecks.





Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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