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American retailers Trying to maintain an optimistic outlook ahead of the crucial holiday-shopping season, but worried about the broader effects of the current labor shortage and the supply chain disruptions induced by the pandemic.

Three-quarters of US retailers said shoppers expect more from the store than they can deliver due to labor shortages, a . According to new survey From UKG, a workforce management company. Another 85% are anticipating that supply chain issues will further disrupt shoppers.


“It is becoming increasingly clear that job hesitancy – rather than job availability – is why we are not seeing a meaningful increase in workforce activity,” KPG vice president Dave Gilbertson said in a statement. “The remarkable number of jobs available are made null and void until people are ready to jump back into the market.”

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The survey of 312 store managers, owners and executives found that the majority – 64% – expect to see a year-over-year decline in employment this holiday season, while one in four reported staff shortages and unplanned absenteeism. predicted, resulting in fewer employees daily. It was held between 31 August and 9 September.

As a result, many stores said they’re doubling down on hiring: 52% are hiring more heavily than in years past, including 80% who said they hired season associates long before the typical holiday-hiring surge. The search had begun. Nearly half said they started looking for employees before September.

But the problem, respondents said, is that many people aren’t interested in working retail, whether it’s because they want higher pay, are worried about contracting COVID-19 or work. seen as particularly gruesome.

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Businessmen are also concerned about retaining good employees rather than attracting new talent. One in 10 said they expect workers to quit on a daily basis, while at least 84% expect workers to quit on a monthly basis.

“Retailers need to know that it’s not just about compensation,” Gilbertson said. “It’s about flexibility and showing that you value your colleagues. It’s about training and developing your workforce and making people feel like they’re just starting a career, vs. day to day.”

The survey comes after a new Labor Department report released on Tuesday showed there were an estimated 10.4 million open jobs at the end of August. Although there has been a slight decline since the end of July, it is still a staggeringly high figure; There are about 2.7 million more open jobs than unemployed Americans looking for work.

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According to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), 4.3 million people left their jobs in August, representing about 2.9% of the country’s workforce. report good. The report, released just days after the government’s September jobs report, showed that payrolls increased by just 194,000 last month, far less than the 500,000 expected by Refinitiv economists.