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More seasonal jobs than usual available this holiday season
BEAUMONT - by Lauren Huet
People who love to shop are not the only ones gearing up for Black Friday and Christmas shopping. Stores are gearing up too. Texas Workforce Solutions expects employers to hire even more seasonal employees this year than usual.
The Apricot Lane Boutique in Parkdale Mall is one of many stores readying for the holiday rush.
"We are hiring and we currently just added two more people to our employee list, to our Apricot family," said an Apricot Lane Boutique retail associate, Taylor Shields, "And we are hoping to hire some more because the shopping rush is so hectic."
One of those two new employees is Samantha Ruiz.
"I am very excited actually," said Ruiz. "I love this store. I love their clothes. This is my style."
Shields says she wouldn't want to work holidays without back-up.
"They all come in, right at the last second, and it's so hectic to be by yourself, so I'm so glad that we have more people coming in," said Shields.
A consultant with Texas Workforce Solutions, Ira McNeil, says he expects employers to hire more seasonal workers than usual this year because Thanksgiving falls so close to the end of the month, taking away about a week of shopping.
"We expect because of the compressed shopping season, that employers are going to be doing a lot more hiring than they normally do-- than they anticipated doing," said McNeil. "And so it's crunched down. They're going to have to have more people because they're going to have larger crowds trying to get everything done in that shorter amount of time."
Which is a boost to the local economy.
"It lowers our unemployment rate, and of course it gets more money spent. That domino effect: people working spend more money and create more jobs. So, it gives us a good little spike," said McNeil.
McNeil says seasonal jobs sometimes turn into full-time jobs.
"Even if you're doing seasonal work, it gives you an opportunity to get in front of that employer. He gets to see what you're doing, how well you're doing," said McNeil. "And who knows? As things progress during the rest of the course of the year, if there's a need, that's an employee he may remember, and want to call you back."
Ruiz says she's ready to face the rush of holiday shoppers.
"This is a great opportunity for me, and so I'm just looking forward to starting and learning," said Ruiz.