UPS expects to hire about 50,000 temporary workers for the holiday shipping season, about the same number the parcel carrier brought on last year, company officials said Friday.
The forecast fits in with forecasts from retailers that their hiring of seasonal workers, typically a boost to employment heading into the holidays, will grow only slightly over last year.
"Based on current projections, UPS anticipates that its peak season hiring will be similar to last year, with about 50,000 temporary workers added for the holiday surge in packages," UPS spokesman Tyre Sperling said.
Those workers typically sort packages at UPS's air and ground stations around the United States.
The company's hiring projection comes as retailers are forecasting modest 2.3 percent growth in holiday sales this year and many stores are projecting seasonal hiring to increase only modestly from a year ago.
UPS handled just under 14.9 million packages in its domestic air and ground network in the fourth quarter a year ago, a 1.9 percent decline from the year before. Although UPS's financial returns have improved this year, domestic package volume has been almost flat.