Top retailers have announced holiday hiring plans that will bring the number of seasonal positions to a total that hasn’t been seen in over a decade. In the month of November, apparel retailers and department stores accounted for more than half of retail job gains adding 120,000 and 115,000 jobs, respectively. Industry experts predict retailers will hire more than 800,000 people this holiday season resulting in the largest number of seasonal hires in 14 years.

Macy’s announced, in late September, that it would hire seasonal associates for about 86,000 positions, up about 3.6% from 2013. The majority of new employees will work at its Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores with 10,000 of the jobs based in fulfillment centers that support online ordering. Target plans to stay on track with last year and will hire 70,000 for the season. Wal-Mart plans to hire 60,000 seasonal workers. JCPenney plans to hire 35,000. Kohl’s Corp. said it would hire more than 67,000 seasonal workers nationwide for the holiday shopping season, about a third more than last year’s 50,000.

Some retailers bring in as much as 40% of their total annual sales during the holiday season. This of course constitutes more employees working more hours. Retail payrolls typically rise 3% to 4% between October and December. In 2013, retailers hired 786,000 holiday season employees. That’s a 4% gain over the earlier year. Last year, nearly a third of the retail-job surge over the holidays occurred in apparel and accessories stores with 200,000 jobs added from October through December. Department stores followed with 180,000 new jobs. Other big holiday hirers are general merchandise stores and sporting goods retailers.

Although total employee counts fluctuate throughout the year, Chain Store Guide captures an average total employee count for all its companies in the database of Department Stores and the database of Apparel Specialty Stores. Chain Store Guide offers information on all top department store companies and apparel retailers including personnel and location information. To learn more about retail and foodservice companies, please visit