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Posted: 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012

Clarkonomics

Seasonal work and manufacturing boost job outlook

It's going to be a good Christmas and an even better future!



By Clark Howard


Hiring prospects are beginning to look more robust in both the short term and the long term.

Retailers have always hired temporary and seasonal workers for the Christmas season. What's changed this year is the sheer number of hires. These kinds of numbers below suggest that retailers are confident this Christmas season will be a good one for sales.

  • Macy's is hiring 80,000 seasonal workers
  • Target is hiring 80,000 seasonal workers
  • Toys R Us is hiring some 50,000 temp employees
  • Kohl's is hiring nearly 50,000 temp employees

In addition, Wal-Mart and Bloomingdale's are both hiring seasonal workers as well. Of course, these are jobs that don't necessarily pay well.

But on the positive front, manufacturing is now healing in America after being given up for dead.

Other countries where jobs were outsourced are now experiencing labor cost inflation. For example, communist China has seen labor rates rise about 20% each year. They're not as price competitive as they once were.

At the same time, the manufacturing that brings in big money is coming to the U.S. or increasing production if it's already here.

Look at the car market. Honda plans to radically boost auto manufacturing in the United States and to export American-built Hondas around the world, eventually even to Japan!

I read recently that we lost 3.5 million manufacturing jobs overseas from the peak of U.S. manufacturing to today. But there's no question we'll see more manufacturing hiring moving forward here in the U.S.

We have superior distribution and advanced robotics that makes it possible to staff a U.S. factory with a small number of highly trained workers. That makes us cost-competitive with the rest of the world. And it's great news for us moving forward.