Holiday hiring: Fewer jobs reveal economy weak spot

(CBS News) Typically, America's retailers bump up hiring around the holiday season and hire many workers to cover increased shopping demands. However, they are expected to hire less help this holiday season.

A new report estimates an additional 665,000 workers will be added beginning Tuesday until Dec. 31. That's down 11 percent from last year. Many are saying it's a warning bell for the U.S. economy.

Retailers unveil holiday hiring plans

"They're not expecting a barnburner this Christmas, there's no question about this. The retailers said last year they really stacked up, and they were disappointed," said CBS News analyst and contributor Mellody Hobson on "CBS This Morning: Saturday." "So this year they're being much more careful and they're taking a very low-key approach to Christmas partly because at the lower end of the income spectrum people aren't doing that great and they can't have a big holiday."

Holiday sales are expected to be up, but it would be the smallest increase since the recession ended

The numbers from retailers suggest that consumer spending is expected to remain very weak at the lowest end of the economy. Higher income retail spending, such as with luxury brands, has been strong.

"People at the high end, people making high incomes, are doing quite well. They really benefited from the economic rebound. Their stock portfolios are doing well. Their houses are worth more. So they're in good shape," said Hobson. "But at the lower end of the economy, things haven't gone so well. Incomes are not up. Poverty is not down."

For Mellody Hobson's full report, watch the video in the player above.

  • Shoshana Davis

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