Home-improvement retail giant Lowe's announced on Wednesday that it plans to hire 45,000 seasonal workers for the spring season,their busiest time of year. Seasonal workers average 20-25 hours a week, and the amount of time on the job will vary. Most will begin working in late February and could continue into September.
Lowe's will also add 9,000 permanent part-time employees in preparation for a projected housing recovery. The housing slump has been an ongoing drag on the economy, but many economists believe the market is set to accelerate its recovery.
Home sales numbers from 2012 lend support to the optimistic projections. Existing-home sales for the year were up 9.2% from 2011, according to a report released Tuesday by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). New home sales will be released Friday and are expected to show an increase over 2011.
Housing was a major contributing factor to the recession and is an important key to establishing faster GDP growth. Low interest rates have driven sales, but for this growth to continue job creation must increase.
It is for that reason that not all economists share the optimistic view. Concerns over higher taxes and cuts in government spending, combined with still sluggish job-growth, have led some to believe the best of the housing recovery has already been seen.