Customers pass through the "racetrack", the busiest aisle that is by the registers. Home Depot is leading a charge of retailers looking for legislative help in dealing with organized retail crime. The thieves use all sorts of methods and in most cases, they know they will not be physically stopped. They make off with hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars worth of goods. Bob Andres /

Home Depot hiring 80,000 for spring season

The Home Depot, the largest company based in Georgia, said Tuesday that it will hire 80,000 associates nationwide as part of its yearly, spring ramp-up.

The end of winter ushers in Home Depot’s busiest season. The hiring binge is a strong signal that the huge retailer sees no imminent threat to the economy.

Home Depot will add about as many employees as a year ago. About 2,250 of the positions will be in Georgia, including about 1,400 in metro Atlanta, company officials said.

The announcement follows a holiday season in which consumer spending was solid. While the U.S. economy overall has decelerated, few economists are predicting a downturn this year.

And, despite the continued spread of the coronavirus in China, no serious disruptions have been reported, thus far, in the supply chains of American companies. Home Depot officials have said they are watching closely.

With unemployment historically low, Home Depot expects many of the hires to be first-time jobseekers and retirees looking for a second career.

Home Depot has 2,291 retail stores in North America, the lion’s share of them in the United States. The company employs more than 400,000 people.

Many of the new positions will be in the Home Depot garden center. The company is also hiring for merchandising, customer service, warehouse positions and “overnight freight” — that is, moving merchandise when the stores are closed.

The jobs include both full- and part-time work. Many hired for the season likely will stay with the company afterward, according to Tim Hourigan, an executive vice president. “More than 90 percent of our store leaders began their careers here as hourly associates,” he said.

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