Kronos: Retail hiring on the rise

Chelmsford, Mass. -- The Kronos Retail Labor Index released by the company on Thursday showed that retail hiring is on the rise, even as fewer people seek jobs in the retail sector.

The Index jumped to 4.2%, up nearly 7% from last year, indicating a potential recovery in the labor market. The number of applications edged down 1.3% , which is down nearly 6% from its level one year ago, pointing to applicants seeking employment in other growing industries.

“Retail firms in the Kronos sample have faced modestly tightening hiring conditions in recent months, as the pool of applications for each hire made has contracted,” said Chris Varvares, senior managing director and co-founder, Macroeconomic Advisers.

February’s decline continued the downward trend in applications that began in the second half of last year, bringing applications to their lowest level since December 2007, right at the onset of the recession.

The Kronos Retail Labor Index, analyzed by Macroeconomic Advisers, is defined as the ratio of hires to applications within a given month, expressed as a percentage. A level of 3.0% means that for every 100 applications received, three hires occurred.