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Kronos Retail Labor Index Hits Three Year High

December 1st, 2011 at 9:18 am

Kronos Retail Labor IndexCHELMSFORD, Mass., Dec. 1, 2011 — Kronos Incorporated today announced the December release of the 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 December report includes data for November 2011. The analysis and write-up is prepared by Macroeconomic Advisers LLC, and is available on the Kronos Retail Labor Index website.

News Facts

  • The Kronos Retail Labor Index: (This index is defined as the ratio of hires to applicants within a given month, expressed as a percentage. A level of 3.0 percent means that for every 100 applications received, three hires occurred). The Kronos Retail Labor Index rose to 4.2 percent in November 2011 from a downwardly revised 3.5 percent in October. This was the highest reading since October 2008 and the second reading of 4.0 percent or higher in the last three months.
  • Retail Hiring Level: The retailers representing 18,362 distributed locations across the U.S. that make up the Kronos® data sample made 34,491 hires (seasonally adjusted) in November 2011, up 7.1 percent from a downwardly revised 32,205 hires in October 2011. The level of hires in November was roughly 8 percent above the 2010 average, continuing to indicate modest improvement following sharp declines during the recession.
  • Retail Applications Level: The number of applications received by retailers included in the Kronos sample declined 10.8 percent to 812,673 in November 2011, from an upwardly revised 911,552 in October 2011, all on a seasonally adjusted basis. The decline in November brought monthly applications to the lowest level in more than four years, nearly 17 percent below the mid-2009 peak.
  • Retail 60-Day Retention Rate: The 60-day retention rate, measured as the number of hires who remain employed for at least the first 60 days divided by the total number of hires made in that month, edged up to 84.4 percent (seasonally adjusted) in July from 83.3 percent in June (Note: There is a four-month lag on this indicator as two months are required to measure whether a hire remained employed for 60 days and Kronos customers have two months to return data on separations.)

Supporting Quotes

  • Chris Varvares, senior managing director and co-founder, Macroeconomic Advisers
    “The Kronos Retail Labor Index rose to 4.2 percent in November, the highest reading in three years. The gain reflected a fairly strong, 7.1 percent increase in hires to 34,491 in November, slightly above a trend of 34,000 over the past few months. This increase in November hires relative to the recent trend could suggest that retailers are cautiously optimistic about upcoming holiday sales.”

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