Holiday jobs could hit record high

US gains strong 257K jobs, pay jumps; jobless rate 5.7 pct. (Image 1)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — With Christmas a little more than six weeks away, holiday shopping is already in full swing.

According to Purdue’s retail management expert Richard Feinberg, the numbers for both retail and distribution jobs could set a record.

“This year we will match the highest levels of seasonal hiring in the last 20 years,” said Feinberg. “With about 770,000, that would be just above what that high level was and this is from a low just in 2008 of 275,000 seasonal workers.”

Feinberg said seasonal hires began for holiday shopping at the start of November and will last through the second week of January.

“They know in order to compete with other stores, they have to have workers who can at least do the basic stuff of helping consumers. Because the sale is not necessarily made by the product,” said Feinberg. The sale is sometimes made by the product plus the personal attention and the information the sales associate can give.”

Feinberg says there is no set dollar amount workers will make, but he believes hourly wages are usually above minimum wage for retail workers and says distribution jobs offer much more.

“If you want a really interesting job, go down to FedEx and see what they have going. Because they have night shift, you’ll get good wages and sometimes it will turn into a permanent job,” explained Feinberg. “Any big warehouse or distribution center for retail is very busy during the holiday season and is hiring like crazy right now.”

While distribution workers might make more, Feinberg said retail positions are still enticing because of discounts the workers can get at stores.

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