The Chicago Employment Law Blog

Need a Job? Seasonal Hiring Starts NOW!

Happy Holiday hiring season! Seasonal hiring is expected to increase once again over last year’s numbers, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. The National Retail Federation projects approximately 626,000 seasonal positions will be added this year. For a little perspective, in 2008, only 263,800 seasonal workers were added.

According to the Sun-Times, Toys R Us will be adding 45,000 jobs nationally, Kohl’s will be adding an average of 41 employees per store, and Macy’s plans on adding 80,000 positions, including 3,500 in Chicago. Target plans on adding 80,000 to 90,000.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Amazon will add more than 50,000 jobs for the holidays. If you have an R.V., Amazon's CamperForce hires seasonal workers at its distribution facilities. Often the workers migrate from all over the country and live in RVs during their tenure. These distribution facilities and RV camps are typically in the middle of nowhere, such as Fernley, Nevada, reports the Wall Street Journal. Still, to someone who has exhausted unemployment benefits, $12 an hour plus overtime for a temporary gig could be pretty tempting.

You're probably thinking, "Seasonal ... great. Now I'll be unemployed again in three months." That's a strong possibility and it might provide some apprehension for those currently receiving unemployment benefits, as they fear losing the safety net. On the other hand, many seasonal gigs turn into permanent positions. Target disclosed that about 30 percent of last year's seasonal workers ended up in year-round positions.

If you are currently on unemployment, taking a seasonal job essentially puts your unemployment benefits on hold. While this means those handy checks will stop coming, it also means the time limits for benefits will also be put on hold. If your seasonal employment doesn't translate into an actual job, you can always re-file for benefits after your employment is terminated.

For those of you who are interested in seasonal employment, apply early and often. The positions fill up fast, and as you well know, there are a lot of people seeking work.

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