Help Wanted: Home Depot Hiring, But Are Homeowners Ready to Spend?

The Home Depot is hiring now in anticipation of a home-improvement market rebound.
The Home Depot is hiring now in anticipation of a home-improvement market rebound.

For the first time in four years, The Home Depot (HD) is adding workers at its stores.

"As you have positive transaction growth, you need more associates to handle that in the stores," CEO Frank Blake told Bloomberg on Monday. "We are going to lean into our skis a little bit."

In other words, The Home Depot is expecting its revenue to grow. The move is a sign that home-improvement projects could be ready to rebound, and many have long been waiting for such a sign.

Brighter Housing Outlook

Since the start of the recession, homeowners have been delaying home-improvement projects because of uncertainty about their job security and pessimism about the value of their homes. But a new Fannie Mae survey released Tuesday has found that 64% of Americans believe now is a good time to buy a home, with most anticipating home prices will be the same or higher a year from now. Residential sales also have been growing, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The brighter outlook could encourage more people to invest in improving their homes and could lead to a spurt of sales growth for stores like The Home Depot. Pent-up demand also could help. Deferred maintenance has racked up across the country over the past few years, and while that hasn't been so great for home-improvement retailers in the recession, it could bode well for those stores once consumers start spending again.

The news that The Home Depot is hiring indicates it expects this to happen soon.

Originally published