Holiday hiring up this year

If you’re looking for a job, this is likely the time of year to find one. Last month retailers hired three times as many people as they did one year ago.

Virginia Townend is one of 10 holiday gift-wrapping elves, hired for the holiday season. “It’s good for extra Christmas bucks and it’s a great place to work because I can gets toys at a discount for my kids,” says Townend.

Townend worked at Learning Express in Wilmington in the past. When the toy store needed some helping hands for the holidays, she was at the top of the list. “I’ve been here before, they know I’ll show up and I’m a good worker,” says Townend.

Along with hiring Santa’s extra helpers, Learning Express has increased employees’ hours, and added shifts – proof the holiday hiring season is off to its strongest start since 2006. Retail payrolls added more than 150,000 jobs last month.

Even pizza places need some help. “We’ve hired a couple new hostesses and we look to hire two more hostesses probably, which we’re in the interview process right now,” says Brixx Pizza Manager Sara Cefalu. “We’ve also hired three new servers.”

But competition for these jobs will be stiff as national unemployment remains at 9.6%. “We definitely have had an influx of a lot of applications, within the past month,” says Cefalu. “We have stacks and stacks of applications back there, which we’ve been going through.” Cefalu says she hopes the new hires stay past the holidays.

But even if the seasonal position doesn’t turn into a permanent one, new hires say it will help give them experience and help them pay their bills and pay for Christmas presents for their families.

According to Forbes, companies doing the most hiring this holiday season are department stores, Toys”R”Us, and shipping companies.

It’s not too late. A lot of retailers we visited today have not done any hiring yet for the holiday season.