For most Americans, the holiday season is a time of giving and spending quality time with family and friends. For others, the spirit of giving translates to employment opportunities to support the massive influx of holiday shoppers.
According to the National Retail Federation, in between 480K and 500K part-time and temporary positions will be hiring for the holidays nationwide. Most are within the retail industry and include jobs such as cashiers, stockers, truck unloaders, café servers and gift wrappers.
Store clerks and others can expect to earn in between $8 to $10 per hour, and managers can make as much as $15 to $20 an hour.
Christmas is the busiest retail season of the year, and it is estimated that anywhere from 25 to 50 percent of all annual sales occurring during the holidays. To compensate for the heavy traffic of seasonal shoppers, most retailers increase their workforce by at least 4 percent.
Kohl’s announced plans in early October to hire around 40,000 workers at their 1,127 stores nationwide for the holidays, a 5 percent increase from 2010. Seasonal workers for the department store will also be employed in their distribution centers and credit operations.
Kohl’s holiday hiring began in October and will continue through November.
Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s plan to hire 78,000 employees for the holiday shopping season, a 4 percent increase from 2010. Most workers will be part-time and employed in their department stores, call centers, distribution centers and online fulfillment centers.
Target is expected to hire slightly more than the 92,000 workers brought on for the 2010 season, and JC Penney plans to hire at least 37,000, up from the 30,000 seasonal employees hired last year.
Although the most obvious source of employment for the holidays might be in retail, seasonal job seekers should expand their search into other sectors of the workforce.
FedEx, which ranks second in most worldwide deliveries, announced plans to hire 20,000 seasonal employees this year, an 18 percent increase from the 2010 holidays. The rise in parcel delivery workers can be attributed partially to the expected increase in online holiday sales.
It is estimated that 47 percent of shoppers will purchase gifts online this year, up from 44 percent in 2010. Online holiday sales continue to grow every year, and delivery services such as FedEx must meet the demands.
UPS, the world’s largest delivery company, will announce their estimates for holiday hiring in early November.
Another source of employment for the holidays beyond the department stores is within hotels and resorts. People travel and vacation more during the holidays, and extra workers are needed to perform the duties of housekeeper, customer service and front desk agent, and hospitality worker.
Although most holiday jobs are temporary, some positions can lead to full-time employment. Toys “R” Us retained 10 percent of their seasonal staff from 2010, and Target kept on 40 percent of their temporary employees from last year.
With the job market and economy still struggling to return to pre-recession levels, the holiday season is seen by many as a golden opportunity to make some extra cash, capitalize on employee discounts, and possibly turn a temporary job into something more solid for the future.
Doss, Natalie. “FedEx’s seasonal hiring hike to bring 20,000 jobs” charlotteobserver.com http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2011/10/25/2719874/fedexs-seasonal-hiring-hike-to.html Accessed 10/25/11
Doyle, Alison. “Seasonal Jobs” About.com http://jobsearch.about.com/od/tempjobs/a/holidayjobs.htm Accessed 10/25/11
Furman, Phyllis. “Holiday season in New York City means an increasing demand for temporary retail jobs” NYDailyNews.com http://www.nydailynews.com/money/2011/10/24/2011-10-24_holiday_season_in_new_york_city_means_an_increasing_demand_for_temporary_retail_.html Accessed 10/25/11