MISHAWAKA, Ind.-It may seem too early to start looking for holiday gifts, but companies have said it is not too early to start hiring holiday help.
Even though Black Friday is still over eight weeks away, several big retailers are now hiring seasonal employees, including Best Buy, Macy’s, and Toys “R” Us.
But even though the stores are hiring in mass quantities, job seekers asking Santa for a job for Christmas may have their hopes set too high as some companies are hiring significantly fewer people this holiday season than in 2010.
Best Buy is only hiring about 15,000, which is about half the number of people the company put to work last year.
Toys “R” Us said it plans to hire about 5,000 fewer this holiday season.
But, there are some bright spots; Macy’s is adding jobs this year, putting almost 80,000 people on the holiday payroll.
Online stores like Zappos will also help lower the seasonal unemployment rate, since the store said it will add up to 3,000 temporary jobs.
Joe Barrios, a South Bend resident, was leaving Best Buy Wednesday night when he found out the company was hiring.
He said he got laid off at a store in University Park Mall because the economy affected his sales performance, and he said he has several friends who have gone through similar hardships.
“Some employees had been there two, five, ten, five, ten years, and they (their employers) get rid of them just because they don’t want to give them a raise, or more benefits,” said Barrios.
Barrios said he’s not looking past any options to turn things around.
“I’ve looked online, check career websites, other employees and stuff like that, newspapers, friends, family,” he said.
So even thought it would only be temporary work for the holidays, Barrios said that’s good enough for now.
“Get a job, a steady job. And even if it’s seasonal, I’ll still work.”