As holidays near, retailers and call centers ramp up seasonal hiring

Updated October 18, 2018 - 5:37 pm

Fourteen years ago, Maria Williams sat on the other side of the interview table.

She started as a seasonal worker at J.C. Penney’s Henderson location, training on a cash register replica and helping with the crowds.

This year marks the first time Williams, now an operations supervisor for the department store chain, gets to interview candidates and decide who to hire.

“This brings back memories,” she said Tuesday during a six-hour job fair at the Henderson store.

Another year, another round of seasonal hiring for retailers and other businesses in the Las Vegas area.

With J.C. Penney, several national retailers and local call centers are looking for workers to help with the holiday rush. Experts forecast a slight uptick in holiday hiring this year, both locally and nationally.

Tight labor market

The Retail Association of Nevada predicts 7,000 workers will get hired between October and December. Those jobs include in-store work, logistics and warehousing.

That would represent a slight increase from last year, when the holiday season brought 6,400 more jobs to the state.

Nationwide, experts expect between 585,000 and 650,000 seasonal workers to be hired, according to the National Retail Federation. Last year, 582,500 seasonal workers found employment.

Record-low unemployment spurred retailers to start seasonal hiring campaigns earlier this year to break through the tight labor market, according to the retail association.

The state’s unemployment rate was reported at 4.5 percent in September, while the national unemployment rate fell to 3.7 percent.

To attract workers, retailers have advertised employee discounts, competitive wages and other incentives. J.C. Penney hopes to woo 200 local workers for the holiday season this year through a 25 percent employee discount on items and a drawing for eight employees to win a $5,000 trip.

“This trend has been apparent in Nevada’s retail industry, where average weekly wages climbed 7.7 percent year over year in August 2018,” according to the RAN statement. “That growth rate outpaced the statewide average of 5.1 percent and was the second-highest annual increase since 2014.”

Recession bust

In Nevada, hiring between September and December hovered around 10,000 jobs in the years before the Great Recession, according to a report by the state Department of Employment, Training &Rehabilitation.

Hiring bottomed out in 2008, with about 1,000 jobs cut that year. The number of seasonal jobs increased from there, reaching 11,500 jobs in 2014 but have since been declining.

Transportation and warehousing jobs saw the typical staff gains. But retail trade added half as many jobs, a sign of structural changes in the industry and the expansion of online shopping, according to the report.

“The big question is to what extent the structural changes noted previously will continue to impact seasonal retail hiring,” according to the report.

J.C. Penney’s 200 open jobs locally are part of 39,000 it hopes to hire nationwide. The numbers are down from last year because the store hired more people during the year, company spokesman Joey Thomas said.

Some other retailers hiring locally include:

— Gap, which also operates Banana Republic, Old Navy and Athleta, will hire 35 local workers and offer 50 percent off to employees at select stores.

— Target wants 1,300 local employees, starting them at $12 an hour. The employees will receive a 20 percent discount on select items.

— Online retail giant Amazon, which opened a distribution center in North Las Vegas in August 2017, wants 500 local employees. All employees would receive at least $15 an hour.

Call center bump

The local call center industry is also adding to its seasonal staff count.

Alorica will hire 415 people locally for the season, an increase over last year thanks to a newly opened second site.

Sitel said it wants 486 local employees for seasonal and full-time jobs. Last year, the company hired 259 seasonal workers, a spokeswoman said.

At Tuesday’s job fair, Williams, the J.C. Penney supervisor, interviewed a high-schooler looking for her first job, a former Walmart customer service manager and a retired school janitor, among others. She said she wanted to see people with energy and interest in the job.

“We need a lot of help this time of year,” she said.

Contact Wade Tyler Millward at 702-383-4602 or Follow @wademillward on Twitter.

Boyd Gaming planning new corporate campus
Casino operator Boyd Gaming Corp. has filed plans to build a new corporate campus. The plans call for two 10-story office buildings and a six-level parking garage in the southwest Las Vegas Valley. Boyd Gaming operates The Orleans, the Suncoast, downtown's California Hotel and other properties. The new headquarters would be just a mile from its current main office building.
Bellagio Conservatory transformed to celebrate Year of the Pig
The Bellagio Conservatory Team transformed the 14,000 square foot conservatory to commemorate Chinese New Year, the holiday that marks the end of the coldest days of winter. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Intro uses sound to connect people
Intro, a startup that is part of the Future Worlds Accelerator in the UK, has an app that uses ultrasonic sound to find people and companies nearby.
CES 2019 Video: CES wraps up another year
Time-lapse video of the action at CES 2019 in Las Vegas. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Create your own beauty products
Beauty Mix by BeautyByMe is a product that lets you create your own cosmetics and beauty products. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Picobrew’s home brew machine
Picobrew brings automation to homebrewing. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Surviving CES
What it's like to spend four days working the mammoth tech convention. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Haier’s smart home
Haier presented smart home technology at CES 2019.
CES 2019 VIDEO: Foldimate makes laundry day easy
Foldimate has created a machine that will fold your laundry for you. Just feed it anything you need folded and it will do the rest. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Opte device corrects skin spots
Opte from Proctor and Gamble is a device for correcting spots and freckles from skin. It analyzes the area for spots and then covers them with a serum of matching skin tone. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Circa hotel-casino in downtown Las Vegas unveiled
Derek Stevens reveals Circa hotel-casino in downtown Las Vegas. He plans open by the end of 2020. (K.M Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Circa, new casino coming to Fremont Street
Casino owner Derek Stevens announces his new property Circa, coming to Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas in late 2020. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dreenk My Oeno makes wine suggestions
At CES 2019 in Las Vegas, the Dreenk My Oeno tells you all about wine.
Polaroid One Step Plus camera unveiled at CES 2019
Polaroid has moved into the digital age with its One Step Plus camera with Bluetooth. With the connected app, it turns your smartphone into a remote for the camera, along with filters and features.
Amazon is everywhere at CES 2019 in Las Vegas
Seemingly everything works with Amazon Alexa
LG Smart Mirror helps you dress snazzy
LG’s Smart Mirror is less of a mirror but more of an assistant to help get you looking snazzy. It takes your image and recommends clothes for you or matches existing clothes with new clothes, which can be purchased right from the mirror. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Underwater robots make waves at CES 2019 in Las Vegas
Robosea is a company dedicated to underwater robotics. They produce consumer robots for underwater filming as well as commercial products which can be used for underwater research. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019 - Victrola record players spin in Las Vegas
A new spin on an old favorite, Victrola record players are meeting a demand for retro products. The brand is also making furnitures with built-in speakers.
CES 2019: Slamtec robots ready to serve
Slamtec is a robotics company out of China whose goal is to provide solutions for laser localization mapping and navigation. They have created two autonomous robots that can be used in areas such as bars, restaurants and malls. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mixologiq drink maker appears at CES 2019 in Las Vegas.
This is the Mixologiq drink maker.
CES 2019: Veritable smart garden
Let’s face it; not all of us have green thumbs. And herbs are particularly difficult to grow, considering their constant need for sunshine. Enter the Veritable smart garden from Exky, which does it all for you. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bonnie Springs Ranch near Las Vegas being sold to developer
Bonnie Springs Ranch near Las Vegas is being sold to a developer, set to close in March. Bonnie Springs, west of Las Vegas off State Route 159 — next to Spring Mountain Ranch State Park — spans more than 60 acres and was on the market for $31 million. The developer and his project partner are under contract to buy the ranch and plan to chop it up mostly into custom-home lots. The plans includes a 25-room motel, a restaurant and a 5,400-square-foot event barn.
Bone-conduction headphones form Aftershokz
Aftershokz offers bone-conduction headphones - headphones that don’t go in the ear.
CES Happy Hour party at Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace
Conventioneers mingled during the Hardware Massive CES 2019 Happy Hour Bash at The Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Autonomous Cars and Futuristic Aircraft Rule CES
Day two of CES was dominated by autonomous cars and futuristic aircraft in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
TekNekSavr fights neck problems caused by smart phones
Atiya Syverson invented the TekNekSavr to help fight neck and head problems caused by strains while typing on smart phones. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New eyeglasses know if you fall and call for help
The French company Abeye has created eye glasses that will detect if the wearer falls and call for help. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Company that creates vibrator-like device claims genders bias against CES
Lora DiCarlo is a women-run start-up that creates a vibrator-like device designed for female pleasure called the Osé. This year they were awarded the CES Innovation Award in the Robotics and Drone Category, but a month later the Consumer Technology Association, which runs CES, rescinded the award and their booth. Haddock and her team believe it is a reflection of gender bias and sexism in an industry with a long history of male domination.
CES-Wagz has new pet products
Wagz has three new products to help create better lives for your pets in a digital world. One is a collar with LTE tracking and an HD camera. Also a smart pet door that only lets your pet in and out. Lastly, a device to humanely keep Fluffy out of certain areas of your home. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Varram lats you play with your pet remotely
Varram’s pet robot is designed to let you remotely interact with your real pet. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like