TURNING OF THE YULETIDE: While industry experts keep their eyes focused on holiday retail numbers, there is at least one figure that’s moving up at an encouraging pace. Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the outplacement consultancy, found that almost nine in 10 — 89 percent — of 100 surveyed companies will have a holiday party this year, up from 82 percent in 2012, the last year the poll of human resources executives was conducted, and 68 percent in 2011. Eighteen percent of the firms planning holiday celebrations plan to spend more than on previous parties and, while most will boost the budget by less than 5 percent, one-third of that group is planning to increase spending by 5 to 10 percent.

“The memories of the most recent and very painful recession still may be too fresh for most companies to return to the type of decadent parties that were more common prior to the economy’s meltdown, but there clearly is a sense that it is OK to loosen the budget reins a bit to hold a respectable holiday party,” said John Challenge, chief executive officer of the outplacement firm, who noted that, while the recovery might be in its fifth year, “for some employers and many of their workers this is the first year it actually feels like one.”

load comments
blog comments powered by Disqus