jobsLeading workforce management provider Kronos Inc. just released the November Kronos® Retail Labor Index™, a family of metrics and indices that characterize the current state of the demand and supply sides of the labor market within the U.S. retail sector. The Labor Index rose three-tenths in October 2012 to 4.8 percent, the highest reading since August 2008.

The November report contains data for October 2012. The index is the ratio of hires to applications within a given month, expressed as a percentage. Kronos data sample includes retailers representing 18,837 distributed locations across the U.S. Last month, the retailers made 35,160 hires (seasonally adjusted), an increase of 6.7 percent from September 2012; the first increase in five months, putting the amount of October hires 5.2 percent above its level one year ago.

“The increase in the Index this month reflected a solid, 6.7 percent gain in hires while applications were essentially unchanged, in contrast to recent months when sharp declines in applications – not a surge in hiring – were pushing the Index higher,” said Chris Varvares, senior managing director and co-founder of Macroeconomic Advisers, the company that does the analysis and write-up. “Strong readings on retail sales in September likely boosted retailer confidence, contributing to the pick-up in October hiring.”

Companies that use Kronos hiring solutions employ around 15 percent of the U.S. consumer retail labor market, which Kronos notes gives it a unique set of data on employee job applications, hires, and length of service.

View the full report here.

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