For the alleged reason of efficiency, Target to hire fewer seasonal holiday workers. Target (TGT) plans to hire about 70,000 seasonal workers for the holiday shopping season, down about 20 percent from a year ago. The discounter is aiming to be more efficient in its hiring practices. The move to hire 18,000 fewer temporary holiday workers versus last year's 88,000 comes as the Minneapolis-based chain saw that its own permanent employees wanted to get first dibs on working extra hours for the holiday season. Target Corp. said it also wants to respond more quickly to the peaks and valleys of customer traffic, which have become more pronounced for many stores as shoppers time their buying for when they believe they can get the best deals. "We're getting smarter in terms of anticipating how many resources we need when guests are really going to be shopping the hardest," said Jodee Kozlak, Target's executive vice president of human resources. Kozlak said that Target workers want to work extra holiday hours because they enjoy helping out during the busy holiday season, and they want to make extra money for family gifts. She added that Target employees who choose to work extra for the holiday seasons can add anywhere from 5 percent to 10 percent to their working hours compared with a year ago. Efficiency or Lack of Demand? Is the move by Target based on efficiency or lack of demand? Here is the telling statement "Target lowered their expectations for the rest of the year, citing a tougher-than-expected spending environment." Expect other retailers to follow. Lack of demand is not Target-specific. Mike "Mish" Shedlock http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com Mike "Mish" Shedlock is a registered investment advisor representative for SitkaPacific Capital Management. Sitka Pacific is an asset management firm whose goal is strong performance and low volatility, regardless of market direction. Visit http://www.sitkapacific.com/account\_management.html to learn more about wealth management and capital preservation strategies of Sitka Pacific.