Seasonal jobs are more scarce amid the pandemic

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – In previous years, many retailers across the nation have added anywhere between 7-12% to their workforce to gear up for the holiday season.

The ramp-up usually begins in October with the majority of hires happening in November and a final increase in personnel in December to ensure demand is met.

This year, however, the pandemic has had its effect on this process and many who look for seasonal work may have trouble finding it. 

Throughout the course of the pandemic, big box stores and grocery chains, which often employ more people throughout the holiday season, had to shift their hiring strategies earlier this year to meet growing demand.

Those retailers have already completed much of their hiring and so the seasonal jobs we are accustomed to seeing will be less common.

On the bright side, employees at these establishments can expect longer-term employment past the holiday season since demand will remain high for the foreseeable future. 

Small local retailers have not been as fortunate and must get through the holiday season without extra help.

Jeremy Hill, Director of the Center for Economic Development and Business Research at Wichita State University, forecasts that fourth-quarter taxable retail sales at the state level will be down by 4.7%, while Wichita will be down 3.4% from 2019. 

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