Solid sales figures in November 2010 combined with large crowds during the biggest shopping day of the year (AKA “Black Friday”) appear to be emboldening employers to hire more seasonal staff during this busy holiday season. In fact, in light of strong consumer demand, hundreds of thousands of Americans are being hired for temporary jobs at retailers across the country—employment many hope will eventually translate into full-time work.
According to a recent report by ABC News, “All told, U.S. companies will hire an estimated 600,000 temporary workers this holiday season, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. That's more workers added to the holiday payrolls than in the past three years.” Employers are also finding that these seasonal applicants are often overqualified for the positions they’re applying for—a continuing trend in the job market as everyone from laid-off lawyers to beleaguered former businesspeople search for work where and when they can find it. And stores are happier for it, finding that these very experienced employees are more dependable and provide a better quality experience. "They're a lot more dependable, better quality, absolutely," Joe Cardamone, a store manager at a J.C. Penney's in Manhattan told ABC News. "They want to work and they need to work, so it's to our advantage to have that kind of quality out there right now."
So, if you’re unemployed, feeling less than festive, and all you want for Christmas is a temporary job with the potential for permanency, here’s a sample list (that we’ve checked twice) of employers looking for holiday help:
As everyone knows online shopping has exploded over the past decade, and this year is no different as buyers rebound en masse from the recent economic malaise. At Amazon.com, the world’s largest online retailer, demand is high for extra help as hire 15,000 temporary workers at $10 per hour. The accumulation of extra employees to work until Christmas Eve has encouraged Amazon to take on new tactics, even opening camps in states like Kentucky where new workers can stay in RVs to rest in between 10-hour shifts.
What can brown do for you? Well, this holiday season the shipping company could possibly deliver some extra green for willing workers. UPS is currently hiring an amazing 50,000 extra workers. That’s right, all of the online purchasing from places like Amazon.com, as well as the standard shipments of present packages throughout the season means the need for new workers at one of the nation’s largest shipping services.
The holidays are never child’s play at Toys-R-Us, one of the nation’s leading purveyors of pint-sized desirables. As such, this national superstore is a superstar among parents especially this time of the year, with its large stock of items sure to be on many a list to Santa. As a result, the company normally catering to “Toys-R-Us kids” is now looking for a ton of “Toys-R-Us adults,” hiring 45,000 temporary employees, a 30 percent increase from last year.
There are also some indications that more of the temporary positions at the above employers and beyond could become permanent positions for many Americans, tapering a lengthy period of job insecurity. According to a recent survey by CareerBuilder, forty percent of employers with seasonal workers this fall plan on offering permanent jobs.
"Retailers are feeling pretty confident right now," Marshall Cohen, chief retail analyst with the NPD Group told ABC. “They've got their swagger going. [Retailers] have been profitable almost every month throughout the year, That means they're going to look to continue to ride that wave and keep some of these temporary employees that are showing some good promise and keep them on for a longer period of time."