For Carl Geissler, picking up a holiday job last year was a way to try something new before making a commitment. It was also a way for the company, JoAnn's Fabric, to take a chance on him.
“I didn't know if I'd like working with fabric,” he said.
Turned out, he did and he's good at it. He since has been promoted to supervisor and is looking forward to the upcoming holiday season, he said.
Jobs are plentiful this time of year, thanks to the busy holiday shopping season and end-of-year tasks. Many firms beef up administrative staff during year-end to help with data entry, filing and human resources, said Roxie McLerran, Oklahoma branch manager for Accountemps, a temp agency. There are local job openings in manufacturing, oil and gas, the service industry and more.
She said some applicants are retired and looking to stay in the workforce by picking up part-time, temporary jobs. Others are unemployed and hoping a seasonal gig will lead to full-time employment. Last year, 30 percent of Target's holiday workers remained on the payroll for year-round positions, the retailer said.
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Retail has been a traditional source of holiday jobs, with applicants wanting to make extra money for gifts and even earn a discount at their favorite store. According to the National Retail Federation, retailers are expected to hire between 585,000 and 625,000 seasonal workers this year, comparable to the 607,500 holiday jobs created last year.
“The retail industry creates hundreds of thousands of jobs every holiday season by adding new staff in stores, distribution centers and customer service departments across the country. In addition to the newly created jobs, many retailers also offer existing staff the opportunity to work longer hours if they want,” said federation President and CEO Matthew Shay.
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Top 10 seasonal and part-time positions
• Sales associate
• Merchandise association
• Store team member
• Customer service representative
• Material handler