Worries about fierce competition for holiday hiring have prompted employers to be more aggressive, putting offers out earlier than usual and raising wages, recruiters said. The global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, which tracks hiring announcements, has reported that companies are looking to add 700,000 seasonal workers, the largest number since 2014.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics regularly adjusts the jobs figures to account for seasonal changes, but here again, unusual shifts may not be fully captured and could artificially inflate (or deflate) the monthly totals.
United Parcel Service has said it plans to hire 100,000 people for the holidays. Several applicants for packing or delivery positions who showed up at the company’s hulking customer center in Manhattan during a recent nationwide hiring drive said they hoped temporary stints would turn into permanent jobs. A company spokesman said that seasonal positions paid $10.35 to $30 an hour, depending on the location.
“I’m just praying,” said Chanique Cox, 42, knocking her knuckles on a wooden counter and clicking her blue nails. “I’m only finding temporary jobs. I would love it if I got a permanent job.”
Ms. Cox, who did not finish high school, said that nearly all the jobs she had pursued required an online application, and that she never heard back about why she was not selected.
Job opportunities have finally begun rippling out to groups that were largely bypassed during much of the recovery: African-Americans, Hispanics, less-educated workers and people with disabilities have all seen their unemployment rates drop in recent months.
Kenyah Brickhouse, a 20-year-old with a high school diploma who lives in Harlem and filled out an application at U.P.S., said low-wage jobs were plentiful. “But it’s hard to find one with a suitable wage that will enable you to live in New York,” he said.