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The fight is on as Amazon to Target compete for seasonal workers

Category: Finance,Retail

Retailers are under pressure to raise wages as they compete against other industries for entry-level candidates. Even before Amazon announced it was raising its minimum pay, wages were rising in retail. The annual median base pay for a cashier jumped to $28,237 in October, a 5.4 percent jump over the previous year, according to online job site

Amazon says it will finish filling seasonal positions by early December at the latest, just in time for its busiest weeks of the year. Its new minimum wage of $15 an hour, which began Nov. 1 and averages out to $31,200 a year for permanent, full-time employees, gives it a leg up over other retailers.

"When we posted the announcement we received more than 70,000 applications in the first 48 hours. Additionally, more applications were received in the week after the announcement than in the entire month of August and traffic to AmazonDelivers.Jobs was up 180 percent" spokeswoman Lindsay Campbell told CNBC.

Target CEO Brian Cornell said the retailer is ahead of schedule on filling 120,000 temporary positions.

"We have already had some of our great holiday hiring events. We are seeing a great response. And we think we are going to be in a terrific position to fill those jobs," Cornell told CNBC, declining to say how many people it's hired so far. The retailer recently held a three-day hiring event at its stores where it received more than 100,000 applications.

Gap Inc. spokeswoman Annie Lee said it's hiring "slightly more associates this year versus last year, therefore our applications are up" at its Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic stores, distribution and call centers. She said the company needs 65,000 holiday workers, declining to say how much it's paying or how many have been hired so far.

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