Kronos Retail Labor Index, measuring ratio of U.S. hires to applications, jumped to 4.1% in January from downwardly revised 3.4% in December, the second reading above 4% since October 2008

Cindy Allen

Cindy Allen

Feb 2, 2012 – Business Wire

CHELMSFORD, Massachusetts , February 2, 2012 () – Kronos Incorporated today announced the February 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 February report includes data for January 2012. The analysis and write-up are prepared by Macroeconomic Advisers LLC, and are 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 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 jumped to 4.1 percent in January 2012 from a downwardly revised 3.4 percent in December 2011. This was the second reading above 4.0 percent since October 2008 and primarily reflected a sharp decline in applications, as hires were little changed from December.

Retail Hiring Level: The retailers representing 18,362 distributed locations across the U.S. that make up the Kronos data sample made 33,324 hires (seasonally adjusted) in January 2012, roughly unchanged from an upwardly revised 33,279 hires in December 2011. The level of hires in January was up about 2 percent from the fourth quarter of 2010 and in line with the 2011 average of 33,500 hires per month, continuing the slow, uneven improvement 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 declined sharply in January 2012, falling 16.7 percent to 815,749 from an upwardly revised 979,718 in December 2011, all on a seasonally adjusted basis. The level of applications in January was down nearly 15 percent from its level one year ago which could be a reflection of renewed job prospects in other industries.

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, was roughly unchanged at 82.2 percent (seasonally adjusted) in September. (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 jumped to 4.1 percent in January, suggesting modest tightening in retail hiring conditions. The jump was driven by a 16.7 percent drop in applications while hires were little changed. The January drop in applications, while sharper than recent trends, continued the uneven decline in applications that began in the second half of last year. With signs the overall labor market is firming, recent declines in applications at retailers could reflect renewed job prospects in other industries.”

Supporting Resources

Organizations that use Kronos hiring solutions employ approximately 15 percent of the U.S. consumer retail labor market, providing Kronos with a unique set of data on employee job applications, hires, and length of service.
The Kronos Retail Labor Index is released on a monthly basis. Go to www.kronos.com/retail-labor-index to access: the full report; a schedule of upcoming Retail Labor Index release dates; the Retail Labor Index methodology; and downloadable graphics.
Note to reporters: cite findings as “Kronos Retail Labor Index”.
About Macroeconomic Advisers, LLC

About the Kronos Retail Labor Index

The Kronos Retail Labor Index is a family of metrics and indices that analyze the relationship between the demand and the supply sides of the labor market within the U.S. retail sector. It is derived from a single, unified data set, allowing for statistically appropriate comparisons and time series-based trending analysis. Firms that use Kronos hiring solutions employ approximately 15 percent of the U.S. consumer retail labor market, providing Kronos with a unique set of data on employee job applications, hirings, and length of service. The Kronos Retail Labor Index provides a distinct and early indicator of the health of the retail sector.

About Kronos Incorporated

Kronos is the global leader in workforce management solutions that enable organizations to control labor costs, minimize compliance risk, and improve workforce productivity. Tens of thousands of organizations in 60 countries — including more than half of the Fortune 1000® — use Kronos time and attendance, scheduling, absence management, HR and payroll, hiring, and labor analytics applications. To learn how Kronos uniquely delivers complete automation and high-quality information in an easy-to-use solution, visit www.kronos.com.

© 2012 Kronos Incorporated. All rights reserved. Kronos is a registered trademark and Kronos Retail Labor Index is a trademark of Kronos Incorporated or a related company. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

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