Retailers hiring for holiday season

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FOX VALLEY, Wis. (WBAY) - Temperatures outside may be close to 90, but some retailers have Christmas on their minds. And with unemployment at an all-time low, hiring for the holidays has already become a priority.

The hustle and bustle of the holiday shopping season is still months away, but that isn't stopping Kohl's from looking to hire seasonal workers now, more than a 140 days away from the Black Friday rush.

In a statement, Kohl's Executive Vice President of Human Resources Ryan Festerling said, "We are hiring seasonal associates earlier than ever to ensure our teams are fully staffed, trained, and ready to support peak shopping seasons."

"Not too big of a surprise. They're looking at their competition and their competition are other employers who also have workforce needs that need to be met, and so they're trying to get out of the gate as early as possible," says Matt Valiquette from the Bay Area Workforce Development Board.

According to officials with the Bay Area Workforce Development Board, the labor market is pretty tight right now with unemployment in Northeast Wisconsin at about 2.2%.

Valiquette says, "Generally speaking, across our 11 county area, we're seeing unprecedented low levels of unemployment."

A quick search on the Job Center of Wisconsin website shows the massive number of positions available across the board.

"In the case of seasonal, there's 149 openings. Those are just openings that have been posted in the last couple of weeks. On the retail side, 224 openings," says Valiquette.

And those openings come as retailers like Younkers and Toys R Us have shuttered multiple locations locally. It really is a job seeker's market, where low unemployment could benefit those looking to get their foot in the door.

Valiquette adds, "We've seen certain employers having to raise, or choosing to raise their entry level wages."

But in the end, the Bay Area Workforce Development Board says to make sure a job is the right fit, because it's not always about the money.

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