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Ho, Ho, Hiring for the Holidays

The holiday season is well under way and it looks like hiring for the season is as well.

That, of course, means jobs for people with hospitality, catering and food-service experience.

Employers across the West were projecting a 16 percent hiring increase in the fourth quarter this year, compared with the year-ago period. If that projection holds, it would be the strongest showing since 2008.

The National Retail Federation was projecting that U.S. retailers will hire between 730,000 and nearly 800,000 seasonal workers this year, up from around 768,000 hired in 2013.

Even though seasonal jobs are typically temporary, they can lead to full-time employment.

In 2008, retailers hired about 325,000 workers for the holiday period. The figure’s been on the rise ever since, hitting 786,000 a year ago.

Researchers at Challenger, Gray & Christmas say they expect “seasonal employment gains in the retail sector to significantly outpace 2013.”

In fact, workers are facing the most favorable job market for seasonal work since the 18-month recession that started in December 2007.

“I don’t want to say there is pressure on wages but there is an alignment of wages with demand,” said Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist with the National Retail Federation in Washington, who is estimating as many as 800,000 workers will be added.

Restaurants are among those benefiting from better times. Forty-four percent of small-business owners plan to throw a holiday party this year, compared with 32 percent last year, according to a survey by American Express Co.

About the Author

Larry Hannappel

Larry spent 16 years with Century Casino’s and was instrumental in the start-up and growth of the company through expansions in Canada, South Africa, the Czech Republic, Poland and on several cruise ships as well as in Colorado. He was most recently the SVP, Principal Finance Officer and COO of North American operations for Century Casinos Inc., a multinational, Nasdaq-traded gaming company. Earlier in his career, Larry worked at the Johns Manville Corp. Larry spent 13 years in various accounting and finance functions in the company’s fiberglass manufacturing division and was key in the start-up of a molding plant in Indiana. Larry and his wife Kathy and three children live in Colorado. He enjoys four-wheeling, motorcycling, golfing, skiing and brewing beer.

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