Lee County businesses fill holiday jobs amid historically low unemployment

Reporter: Dannielle Garcia
Published: Updated:
Woman shopping at a Lee County Target on Nov.. 4, 2019. (Credit: WINK News)
Woman shopping at a Lee County Target on Nov.. 4, 2019. (Credit: WINK News)

Christmas decorations and toys are filling the shelves in some Lee County stores. That means retailers, along with places like Amazon and UPS, are looking for people to help all those holiday shoppers. But luring seasonal workers with the unemployment level so low may be a challenge.

Seasonal hiring is a characteristic of holiday shopping. For Davlin Battle, that is an optimistic prospect. Battle has applied for jobs with UPS, Amazon and Home Depot because he knows those companies are hiring. Around here, that happens all the time.

Jim Wall, with Career Source SWFL, said he is seeing big businesses coming in earlier this year. “Putting on people earlier and not the last minute,” he said. “So they can get them trained and if they find a good person, they’re doing a lot to entice them to stay on full time rather than throw them back into the labor market and lose them forever.”

Wall told WINK News that employers know good workers are hard to find and retain because unemployment is at historic lows. For instance, in Lee County, it is at 2.9%. That is why Target is offering $13 an hour to start. Walmart’s new hires are earning $11. Kohl’s promises, “competitive pay.” Amazon is paying $15 an hour to find workers so the company can keep up with all those Prime deals and deliveries.

With only 48 days until Hanukkah and 51 days until Christmas, the shopping season is in full swing. Battle said the money he would receive would help him spread the holiday cheer. “As far as working goes, getting in as quick as possible and then hopefully once payday comes around,” he said, “I can get some shopping done.”

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