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This Year’s Black Friday had Fewer Workers and Longer Lines, Study Finds

A combination of factors led to the wait times

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The total number of shifts worked in the retail sector on Black Friday 2022 declined 5 percent, compared with 2021 an analysis of high-frequency shift work data from human capital management firm UKG shows. The decline mirrors predictions indicating that inflation, coupled with continued growth in online commerce, would prompt traditional brick-and-mortar retailers to temper staffing amid shoppers’ changing preferences.

“Although Black Friday retail foot traffic was up slightly this year, with consumers spending more overall, the growth in revenue was driven entirely by inflation,” said UKG VP Dave Gilbertson. “Employees worked 5% fewer shifts than last year. This reinforces the relatively smooth, though persistent, slight declines in workforce activity we have seen across industries throughout 2022. While the labor shortage is showing early signs of slight easing, a ‘soft landing’ for the labor market continues to be in play.”

The company’s workforce activity report analyzes shift-work trends for 4.2 million people at 35,000 U.S. businesses to better understand job creation and economic momentum. Click here for the full version of the latest report.

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