Lowe's hiring 45,000 seasonal workers

Retailer also plans for 9,000 permanent part-timers

elyportillo@charlotteobserver.comJanuary 23, 2013 

LOWES

Hayley Shue straightens products on an end cap at the Lowe's on Iverson Way in south Charlotte Friday, August 24, 2012. Lowe's has made the tricky move of something called "everyday low pricing" instead of have sales.TODD SUMLIN - tsumlin@charlotteobserver.com

TODD SUMLIN — tsumlin@charlotteobserver.com

— Mooresville-based Lowe’s Inc. is hiring 45,000 temporary workers, almost 13 percent more than last year, to help staff its stores for the spring rush, the company said this week.

Lowe’s said that it plans to hire about 9,000 permanent part-time employees, as the company looks to beef up staffing around peak shopping times. Last year, Lowe’s hired 40,000 seasonal employees. The company said seasonal employees work about 20 to 25 hours a week at Lowe’s stores, usually between February and September.

Spring, that magical time when people get motivated to rehab their yards and finally start some of those projects they’ve been putting off during the frigid winter months, is the equivalent of the Christmas season for home improvement retailers.

The temporary hiring this year will be variable and will follow the weather, Lowe’s officials said. Lowe’s will hire employees regionally as temperatures rise.

“We are focused on providing customers with outstanding service,” said Scott Purvis, vice president of human resources, in a statement. “We are looking for candidates who are experienced in any of the home improvement trades, and, most importantly, those who are committed to providing Lowe’s customers an exceptional service experience.”

Lowe’s cut back some of its full-time employees last year in favor of more flexible, part-time workers. The company laid off about 1,700 middle managers in its stores, or about one per location.

The increased number of seasonal hires at Lowe’s this year likely reflects an anticipated rise in the housing and home improvement markets. The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University said this month that spending on home improvement increased 9 percent in 2012. The center found that people were spending more upgrading their homes after years of holding back, and that improvements to the 2.9 million homes in or at risk of foreclosure will likely represent sources of future spending growth.

Portillo: 704-358-5041 On Twitter @ESPortillo

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