Consumer Holiday Shopping
Overall, holiday shopping is forecasted to be careful and controlled, as consumers will be practical and focus on value. According to the National Retail Federation, holiday retail sales are expected to rise 2.8% to $465.6 billion, less than the 5.2% sales growth of the 2010 holiday season. However, threats to estimated amount include an erratic stock market, modest income growth for consumers, rising consumer prices, and high unemployment. A Deloitte study forecasts holiday sales between $873 and $877 billion, representing a 2.5% to 3% increase over last season.
2011 Holiday Hiring
Seasonal job hiring will be roughly the same as last year, with few major retailers slightly increasing hiring. According to the National Retail Federation, retailers are expected to hire only 480,000 to 500,000 seasonal workers this holiday season, which is comparable to the 495,000 workers hired last year. Employment gains will not reach pre-recession levels, which averaged roughly 720,000 extra holiday hires from October through December.
In what is becoming a broken record, the New Mexico economy continues to stagnant, neither suffering economic loses nor showing much in the way of gains. Had government employment remained flat, Las Cruces would have gained 400 jobs. As it is, employment declined 200 jobs.