Winter is coming! Maybe it doesn’t feel like it here in Florida, but despite the weather, the holiday season is almost here.
28 days until Halloween. 50 days until Thanksgiving. 83 days until Christmas.
With record-low unemployment in the United States — and Florida right in line with the national average — at 3.9 percent, retailers are preparing for an influx of shoppers. Businesses in Southwest Florida are hiring right now.
"You can actually see a significant spike in employment in Southwest Florida starting around November, December and not going down again until April," Christopher Westley said, director of the Regional Economic Research Institute and professor of economics at Florida Gulf Coast University.
The Regional Economic Research Institute provides information on workforce gaps, which includes skills, knowledge and characteristics desired by regional employers. "I fully expect this region to be, if not number one, in the top five in the country for the projected hiring for the next quarter," Westley said, "because of this season."
On the national level, Target plans to hire 120,000 seasonal workers. That is a 20 percent increase from last year. The hourly wage is $12 an hour. But the positions at the multi-national department store include benefits, such as a 10 percent discount in store and online, and 20 percent off fruits, veggies and workout gear.
The company will set aside $2 million for rewards for seasonal employees through its worker appreciation program. They will hold a job fair on October 12-15 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. You can apply online at targetseasonaljobs.com .
T.J. Maxx is hiring part-time seasonal employees as well. The rate is $9/hour, which is 75 cents more than minimum wage. Employees at the department store will have a 10 percent discount on merchandise -- meaning less expensive gifts for loved ones! Those who are hired at T.J. Maxx can apply to stay on past the holiday season. Interested applicants can apply in the store or online.
Dick’s Sporting Goods is hiring all positions, and some of the positions are full time. The jobs pay from $7.25 an hour, or minimum wage, to $9 an hour. Employees at the sports retail company have 25 percent off merchandise purchases. Applications are available online. Macy’s plans on hiring 80,000 people nationally. Employees at the store make an average of $11 an hour and get discounts up to 20 percent off.
Starbucks is also hiring this holiday season. The coffeehouse chain pays minimum wage to $13 an hour. Along with a discount, employees might be eligible for health care, paid time off, and retirement savings. To find more holiday job options, visit Indeed, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, or other online resources.