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    Retailers Reduced Labor 10 percent Last Year: Kronos Retail Labor Index

    Retail hiring is on the upswing for this year, however.

    Workforce management solutions provider Kronos Inc. has released its latest Retail Labor Index, a family of metrics and indices that analyze the relationship between the demand and supply sides of the labor market within the U.S. retail sector, and provide a distinct and early indicator of the overall state of the economy.

    The February report includes data for January 2011, and is available on the Kronos Retail Labor Index website (www.kronos.com/retail-labor-index)

    “Applications and hiring were down significantly this month, but the combination pushed the Index up to its highest point since August 2008,” said Dr. Robert Yerex, chief economist for Chelmsford, Mass.-based Kronos. “Overall, 2010 was a year in which we saw retailers reduce their overall labor capacity by almost 10 percent.”

    The Kronos Retail Labor Index increased this month from 3.85 percent in January to 4.20 percent in February -- the highest the Index has been since August 2008 when it reached 4.45 percent. (The Kronos Retail Labor Index is defined as the percentage of job applications that result in a hiring, normalized within a scale of 0 to 100 (A level of 3 percent means that for every 100 applications received, three hirings occurred).

    The retailers representing 27,034 distributed locations across the U.S. that make up the Kronos data sample recorded 37,129 hirings (on a seasonally adjusted basis) in January, a 41.61 percent decrease from the December 2010 seasonally adjusted figure of 63,587. The January 2011 figure represents a 9.61 percent increase over the 33,873 hirings that occurred in January 2010.

    The supply of applications also decreased significantly to a seasonally adjusted level of 883,843 in January. The January figure represented a 46.55 percent decrease from the 1,653,520 applications processed in December 2010 and a 39.41 percent decrease from the 1,458,728 applications processed in January 2010.

    Employee retention, the percentage of employees remaining on the job 60 days or more, was 82.50 percent in January 2011, a decrease of 1.47 percent from December 2010 and the first notable drop in the past 12 months.

    For the year, retailers reduced their overall labor capacity by 9.7 percent in 2010, according to the 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. According to Kronos, firms that use its hiring solutions employ approximately 15 percent of the U.S. consumer retail labor market, providing it 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.

     

     

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