Christmas is bringing a twinkle of light to a dark job market with a spate of recent holiday hiring announcements.
Seasonal hiring levels are up 26% over last year, according to SnagAJob.com.
“Holiday hiring indicators … make us cautiously optimistic that things are turning in the right direction,” said Shawn Boyer, SnagAjob.com’s CEO, in a news release.
Toys R Us says it will hire 45,000 temporary workers, doubling its U.S. work force for the season.
Thanks to all the retail vacancies across the nation, the toy seller has been able to temporarily locate smaller stores in malls across America. It calls these “pop-up” stores, Toys R Us Express.
Book retailer, Borders, has said it plans on opening 25 pop-up stores.
Macy’s, meanwhile, has said it will hire 65,000 seasonal workers, up slightly from last year.
In its annual survey of hourly hiring managers, the jobs website SnagAJob.com reports that hiring managers, on average, expect to hire 3.9 seasonal workers each, a 26% increase over last year’s 3.1 workers, and better than 3.7 in 2008.
In 2007, though, managers reported hiring 5.6, so seasonal hiring is hardly back to boom year levels.
“Even with relatively more positions available, you still can expect fierce competition, Boyer said. “If you have intentions of finding a holiday job, you cannot wait to apply.”