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Seasonal Chicago Retail Jobs Freezing Up

Posted on October 21, 2008

The holidays are coming, and so are a plethora of people looking for seasonal Chicago retail jobs.

While the current state of the economy is slowing and the number of people losing their jobs is increasing, it is expected that competition for seasonal jobs at retail stores will be higher than usual this year. According to an article by CBS2, some retail chains are already beginning to hire for the holiday season.

The Illinois Retail Federation states that most retail chains are hiring, and most are expecting a high number of applications. National chains traditionally add 25 to 40 percent more workers to their staff during the holidays, and most stores will keep those numbers this year despite the economy.

“You can’t run a store without associates help and expect to keep shoppers happy,” Peter Gill, of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, said in the article.

The rise in unemployment could mean that many holiday associates will be older, which will make it harder for younger workers, who usually have no trouble securing seasonal jobs, to find employment.

“A lot of people are retired, losing their pensions, they’re looking as well,” Rashael Israel, a job seeker, said in the article. “We’re competing against a lot of people, so we have to step our game up.”

Many job seekers can increase their chances of getting hired by being willing to work flexible hours. Those looking for a Chicago job can attend a job fair or contact a company directly to see what positions are being hired.

Bed Bath & Beyond
, which is hiring full-time employees for a new store in Chicago as well as part-time holiday employees, recently rented a small storefront for a job fair.

“I’m about to lose my house and I need a job,” Nicholas Dodaro, who recently lost his job as a loan officer and is looking for work, said in the article. “A job is a job at this point. When you’ve been looking for the last eight months, you’re willing to do whatever you have to just to make ends meet.”