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Holiday Hiring Shortages Abound With Fewer Available Workers

portage truck stop

A truck stop in Portage, Indiana. Shipping and logistics companies are expected to increase hiring during the holiday season despite few available workers. (Tony Webster/Wikimedia Commons)

As the holiday season begins, employers across the state in retail, manufacturing and shipping are ramping up to hire. But with the unemployment level at record lows, many employers are having a hard time filling seasonal jobs. 

Staffing agency Kelly Services expects consumer spending to increase by about 4 percent during the holidays, meaning that companies that produce and ship products will need to keep up with demand. With Indiana’s unemployment rate hovering at 3.2 percent, there are fewer people looking or available for work.

Stephanie Fields is the regional director of Kelly Services based out of Indianapolis. She says employers are responding by offering more sign-on or completion bonuses and are creating flexible hours for workers who already have full-time jobs. 

“You have to really get creative,” she says. “Companies need to be aware that their wages need to be in line and that may mean you have to pay a little bit more this time of year.” 

Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts jobs in retail will decline slightly, e-commerce is expected to rise, putting extra emphasis on distribution and shipping centers.

Contact Justin at jhicks@wvpe.org or follow him on Twitter at @Hicks_JustinM.

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