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September JOLTS: Retailers Slow to Hire for Christmas Season

The phrase of the day is “little changed” which occurred a record 11 times in this morning’s Bureau of Labor Statistics September Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) news release.

Job openings remained at 9.6 million, while hires and separations remained little changed at 5.9 million and 5.5 million respectively.

That’s bad news for the coming Christmas shopping season as retailers typically ramp up hiring in September.

A September survey of 60,000 Freedom Economy small businesses by PublicSq. and found that 85% of respondents expect a slow holiday shopping season.

“There is normally an uptick in hiring for the Christmas economic season in the month of September,” RedBalloon CEO Andrew Crapuchettes said. “But with little-to-no change in demand from August, this may be an indicator that we will have slow-down in the economy in the last quarter.”

“We saw this sentiment in our September survey of Freedom Economy businesses where 85% of small businesses said they expect Christmas economic activity to be less than normal,” continued Crapuchettes. “These businesses are on the front-lines of what’s happening in the economy, so they’re living these trends day-in and day-out.”

Small businesses are the backbone of the economy, and it looks they're bracing for a not-so-happy holiday season for the economy. With this less-than-encouraging JOLTS report, many will cautiously looking to other reports and surveys to corroborate their information.

Keep an eye out for PublicSq. and RedBalloon's latest release of the Freedom Economy Index here.


The September 2023 Freedom Economy survey, a joint project of PublicSq. and RedBalloon, sampled a universe of over 60,000 small businesses from September 25-29, with 1,126 respondents and a 3% margin of error at the 95% confidence level.

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