Job seekers who are looking for seasonal work might find some extra holiday cheer this year. Retailers such as Amazon and shipping companies including UPS are hiring thousands of people to help with the holiday rush. And some companies are likely to sweeten their employment offers with incentives such as signing bonuses and tuition benefits.
Unemployment levels have dropped since their pandemic peak in spring 2020, and there are more job openings than people seeking jobs. That means the seasonal job market right now especially favors workers, including mid-career adults and retirees looking to earn additional income.
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Teresa Ghilarducci, a labor economist at the New School for Social Research, says that this holiday season she’ll be looking to see if workers get better pay and conditions.
“I would advise someone who is going to enter the labor market or is going to pick up another job to push a little bit and ask for what they want,” she said, including more flexible schedules. “I am seeing employers aware they have to give workers more.” But, she added, it’s important to negotiate up front. “Once you start working, it’s very hard to change the terms of contract,” she said.
The types of opportunities available this holiday season have been shaped by pandemic shopping trends, such as e-commerce. Shipping and warehousing businesses added a record-breaking 493,000 jobs last holiday season, according to a report from the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas based on U.S. Labor Department statistics.
Job seekers hoping for more traditional retail work may also take heart. Even with the spike in e-commerce, more retail stores opened in the United States this year than closed, according to a survey from RetailSphere, and companies like Michaels and Kohl’s are hiring now for in-store associates.
Not interested in retail, transportation or warehousing? Most of the companies hiring by the thousands are in those industries, but Ghilarducci said those seeking seasonal work should also look to the hospitality industry.
“This could be a place where older workers could get some traction. Seasonal work as a hotel clerk, in accommodations or at tourist attractions are maybe nontraditional [seasonal employers] where older people can find interesting opportunities,” she said.
Of course, safety is a priority. Older workers might want to check how organizations are protecting their workers against COVID-19 variants before committing to a job. Businesses with more than 100 workers will soon be required to mandate that employees either get vaccinated or be tested weekly for COVID-19 infections. For smaller and larger firms alike, check to see what precautions are in place to keep workers safe.
Here are some companies that have already announced their plans to hire for the holiday rush nationwide. Whether you’re in need of part-time or full-time, or a job that will just last a few months to something more permanent, opportunities abound. And in many cases, hiring is already underway.
1-800 Flowers expects to increase its workforce by 10,000 people for the holiday season. The company, which also includes Harry and David’s and Cheryl’s Cookies, is hiring for a variety of positions that could be a fit for workers with a variety of needs and skill sets.
Looking for seasonal work that can be done remotely? While some positions, like mailing service associates, have to be done on-site, positions like customer service and data entry can be done from home. Most on-site seasonal positions are focused in Illinois, Ohio and Oregon. Year-round positions are also available. Those interested in learning more about these opportunities can find more information or apply at 1-800-Flowers’ website.
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