Kronos Retail Labor Index, reflecting the ratio of job applications to hires, dipped to 3.5% in December from downwardly revised 3.8% in November; hiring has stabilized at around 34,000/month, versus pre-recession levels of 55,000/month

CHELMSFORD, Massachusetts , January 5, 2012 () – Kronos Incorporated today announced the January 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 January report includes data for December 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 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 dipped to 3.5 percent in December 2011 from a downwardly revised 3.8 percent in November.

Retail Hiring Level: The retailers representing 18,362 distributed locations across the U.S. that make up the Kronos data sample made 32,570 hires (seasonally adjusted) in December 2011, down 7.6 percent from an upwardly revised 35,259 hires in November 2011. Even with the decline in December, monthly hires remain above lows reached durin
g the recession and suggest retail hiring has improved modestly following sharp declines in 2008 and 2009.

Retail Applications Level: The number of applications received by retailers included in the Kronos sample declined 1.2 percent to 922,474 in December 2011, from an upwardly revised 933,837 in November 2011, all on a seasonally adjusted basis. The level of applications in December was down nearly 3 percent from its level one year ago.

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, decreased to 83.1 percent (seasonally adjusted) in August from 83.8 percent in July. (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 dipped to 3.5 percent in December, reflecting a 7.6 percent drop in hires made. The December decline in hires followed a strong 8.0 percent increase in hires in November, which could indicate retailers made hiring decisions earlier in the year in anticipation of increased traffic and stronger holiday sales. On average, retailers in the Kronos sample made nearly 34,000 hires in November and December, broadly consistent with the number of hires made over the previous six months. This suggests retail hiring has stabilized following sharp declines during the recession. However, retail hiring in this sample remains far below pre-recession levels, when firms made roughly 55,000 hires per month.”

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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