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The Kronos Retail Labor Index: (This index is defined as the ratio of hires to applications 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 three-tenths of a percentage point to 4.2 percent in February 2012 from a downwardly revised 3.9 percent in January 2012. This was only the second reading above 4.0 percent since October 2008 and reflected a moderate increase in hires as applications continued to trend downward.
Retail Hiring Level: The retailers representing 18,362 distributed locations across the U.S. that make up the Kronosdata sample made 35,772 hires (seasonally adjusted) in February 2012, up 4.3 percent from an upwardly revised 34,289 hires in January 2012. The level of hires in February was 7.0 percent above the 2011 average and the second-highest reading in three years, continuing the upward trend in hiring that began in the second quarter of last year.
Retail Applications Level: The number of applications received by retailers included in the Kronos sample edged down 1.3 percent to 861,591 in February 2012 from an upwardly revised 872,923 in January 2012, all on a seasonally adjusted basis. The level of applications in February was down nearly 6 percent from its level one year ago. 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.
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 down to 81.6 percent (seasonally adjusted) in October 2011 from 81.9 in September 2011. (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.)