Rain and autumn leaves have ushered in the start of fall. For local retailers and courier services, that means it’s time to start thinking about hiring for the busy holiday season.
Major holiday players have already started. Macy’s is looking to fill more than 38,000 seasonal positions nationwide. Target plans to hire nearly 100,000. UPS announced this week that it plans to do the same.
Regional economist Scott Bailey for the Washington Employment Security Department said local retailers are expected to hire about 900 seasonal employees in October, November and December.
In the past five years, the number of holiday retail jobs in Clark County fluctuated between 500 and 1,100. For the last two years, about 800 people were brought on to work for retailers in the months leading up to the new year.
There were around 200 seasonal courier jobs added at the end of 2018, but the number has since declined. Last year, 149 people were brought on as seasonal couriers. Bailey said that 100 to 150 workers will likely be hired this year.
In a statement earlier this month, National Retail Federation chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said the economy is growing more slowly.
“Progress has been made on combating inflation, but higher prices remain,” Kleinhenz said. “While consumers are still spending, the composition of their spending continues to favor services over retail goods and even then, there was less momentum going into the third quarter.”
Small retailers won’t necessarily need to bring on more staff, though some might bring on one or two more people to handle the extra shoppers.
Trove at 209 E. Main St. in Battle Ground anticipates being busy but not hiring any additional employees.
“It’s crazy busy during the holidays,” owner Abbie Erickson said.
It’s the fourth holiday season for the shop, which sells home décor, women’s and baby’s clothes and bath and body products.
Erickson said her store is like a co-op with set employees. When things pick up, all the employees in the group will work extra hours.
Other retailers may bring on someone to help with wrapping or someone to help with the additional demand. Like with the big box stores, that hiring also generally starts now.