Looking for work? Seasonal hiring has begun at many local retailers, as stores begin stocking up on workers to help with the busy holiday shopping season.
-- Macy's announced it will hire roughly 80,000 seasonal employees to work its Macy's and Bloomingdale's stores, call centers, distribution centers and online fulfillment centers across the country for this year's holiday season. That's 3,000 fewer jobs than the retailer posted last year. Last year's 83,000 seasonal openings represented a 2 percent decline from 2015. Macy's will hold a national hiring event from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sept. 28 and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sept. 29 at all Macy's stores. For more information or to apply, visit MacysJobs.com. Macy's closed three stores at the Eastern Hills and McKinley Malls last year. Macy's remains at Walden Galleria and Boulevard Mall.
-- Target has drastically increased its hiring numbers. It will hire 100,000 temporary workers for the holiday season, which is 40 percent more than last year. The 30,000-person increase is attributed to the company's renewed focus on better customer service during the holiday season, the Minneapolis-headquartered retailer said. The positions include sales associates, distribution center workers and online fulfillment staff. Roughly 70 percent of those hired will work in Target stores. Target will hold open hiring events from Oct. 13 to Oct. 15 during regular business hours at every Target location. For more information, or to apply, visit TargetSeasonalJobs.com.
-- Michaels, the chain craft store, will add 15,000 holiday workers this year. There are Michaels stores in Amherst, Cheektowaga and Clarence. For more information, or to apply, visit Michaels.com/Jobs.
As traffic slows at brick-and-mortar stores each Christmas, seasonal jobs have begun to shift toward behind-the-scenes roles supporting online sales. Last year's seasonal hiring numbers were the lowest since 2009. The retail industry saw an increase of 641,000 end-of-the-year jobs in 2016, which was a decrease of 9.6 percent from 2015, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. At the same time, transportation and warehouse employment increased by 8 percent.
Retailers have announced more than 6,000 store closures and 67,000 job cuts since the beginning of the year, but have also announced the highest number of hiring announcements for any industry, according to global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Many of them can be attributed to expansions at Walmart and Dollar General, summer seasonal hires at stores such as Home Depot, and continual hires at Amazon, which has committed to hiring 100,000 people by June. Amazon is opening a warehouse in Lancaster to sort packages and is hiring for seasonal jobs through its website at search.amazondelivers.jobs.
Though the holidays can seem a long way off, those who wait to find seasonal work may encounter slim pickings. The vast majority of seasonal hiring takes place in September, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas.