Companies are competing for part-time and seasonal workers

The unemployment rate at the lowest rate in 48 years, employers are having a harder time attracting talent.

There will be at least 704,000 openings for holiday jobs this year, up five percent from last year, according to a new report by Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.  

Vice President Andrew Challenger said with a very competitive job market, big retailers are offering major perks and incentives this holiday season for their seasonal workers.

“As demand for good, talented labor has really increased in a booming economy, while at the same time the labor market has become very tight,” said Challenger.

He said as employers are having a hard time finding the workers they need this holiday season and are willing to pay up with wages and extra benefits.

For example, Challenger says JCPenney's is offering vacation and prize packages. Kohl's has a special shopping day with extra discounts.

“Amazon announced a higher minimum wage, going up to $15 per hour, across the nation, which is going to increase overall compensation within the retail industry,” said Challenger.

Another big perk is the ability to work from home because of e-commerce.

Texas Retailers Association President and CEO George Kelemen said brick and mortars need folks, obviously, and people are crucial to fulfill online orders.

“They’re critical to retailers. They’re willing to offer top dollar and significant perks to make sure that they’re adequately staffed to meet that need,” said Kelemen.

He said the holiday season is the biggest and most important time of the year for retailers and Texas retailers are looking for a robust holiday season. Potential employers know they have to do extra to attract the best for holiday jobs.

“Higher wages, other perks like bonuses and gift cards,” said Kelemen.

 Challenger says there's a lot of turnover in the retail industry, so if you applied for a job last month, try again, there's probably an opening now.

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