With the new seasonal cups out at Starbucks stores across the continent, it’s *clearly* time to begin thinking about the Christmas holidays. Although U.S. jobs data is on a slight – very slight – uptrend, we are still nowhere near back to the number of jobs pre-Lehman. Recent data I read suggested that about 232,000 jobs a month in gains are needed just to get back to those levels before we’ve all passed away.
So many of you, or your sons, or daughters, or neighbors, will be depending on the Christmas shopping season to finally find a job, or to pick up a second part-time job to help get by.
Thousands of Jobs Added For Christmas
In 2009, still technically within the recession, the Christmas holiday season added about 501,000 holiday jobs in the U.S. This year, somewhere between 550,000 and 650,000 seasonal workers are expected to get hired. By comparison, in the deepest, darkest days of the financial crisis of Autumn 2008, a mere 384,000 or so seasonal workers were hired.
This means that for the 2010 Christmas holiday hiring season, there may be upwards of 70% more seasonal jobs available than there were for Christmas of 2008. So if you were lucky enough to get hired back then, you should be able to get another job now. And for those still unemployed, your chances of finding holiday work should be up to 70% better this year.
But according to data from Challenger, Gray and Christmas (no connection to the holiday!), none of these seasonal employment numbers compare with the number of jobs added for Christmas 2007, when 720, 800 people were hired just for the holidays.
Places Hiring For Christmas
Here are some of the main companies we know will be hiring for sure for the holiday season. But it doesn’t take much effort to extrapolate and come up with some other names that will be likely to need people, too.
Borders has recently closed many stores on a permanent basis, but the holiday season makes it profitable to open them up again temporarily. As a result, Borders needs to hire seasonal employees. Check with your local Borders to see where they need people, or where these “pop-up” stores are likely to open. Act quickly, though, since time is running out.
This craft store chain will be in need of 15% more workers than it hired at the same time last year, a clear sign of greater consumer discretionary spending. The company has reversed the loss it reported at this time last year – another healthy sign of a slowly improving domestic consumer economy.
This value-priced retailer wins awards for customer service. This year it expects to add another 40,000 customer service associates (about 21% more than it added last year). If you like Kohl’s product lines, try applying here – you’ll be able to sell products you believe in.
Macy’s plans to add a whopping 65,000 jobs for the Christmas holiday season. If you like new clothes and working in customer service, this is for you. There will also be jobs in distribution and in call centers. You can apply online through Macy’s Jobs.
It may seem hard to believe given that it recently filed for bankruptcy, but Blockbuster is on track to need hundreds of extra workers again this season. This is, after all, when it sees the most sales.
Check out its fulfillment centers in Kansas, Nevada and Kentucky. Apparently at least 900 jobs will become available, up to somewhere in the thousands. This makes sense considering how many people will be ordering gifts online. You can apply through Integrity Staffing Solutions.
With all the online orders, delivery service is needed. And that’s why UPS expects to hire at least 50,000 workers for the Christmas holidays. We all appreciate getting our packages safely, intact, and on time, so give a round of applause to all our delivery folk – and consider applying to UPS, especially if you have a good record of delivery work yourself. Even better, UPS has indicated that many of these temporary hires will turn into permanent employment after January.
Toys ‘R’ Us
This is an obvious one. The toy conglomerate is reportedly expecting to add about 45,000 jobs for the holiday season. Not hard to figure this one out, as it is a likely stop for toy purchases for many parents. It’s also obviously growing, as it expects many of its seasonal “pop-up” stores to become permanent. This means you might be able to keep your job past the holiday season.
What kind of Christmas shopping season would it be without several trips to Best Buy, right? So it’s no surprise that Best Buy is hiring for the holidays. The only surprise is that Best Buy is hiring 29,000 seasonal workers and not 100,000. If you can not only walk, but talk, your tech – definitely apply.
Main Sectors Hiring For Holidays
Based on the above list, you can see who tends to need extra workers for the holidays: retailers, delivery and postal services, online conglomerates and entertainment services. So you should also check with your local post office, FedEx, Barnes & Noble, Sears, eBay, JC Penney, AMC movie theatres, Netflix, call centers, and any of your other favorite places to shop, especially retailers that sell video games, iPods and other technology and entertainment-related goods.
These lists also give some great ideas for start-ups for the holiday season. With so many more people needing to buy gifts for others, why not start your own personal gift shopping service? If you don’t mind buying the gifts, do it for others – the ones who loathe spending time in malls will gladly pay you for it.
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