Forecasters predict ho-hum holiday hiring in Northwest

Originally published on March 5, 2013 11:05 am

SALEM, Ore. - It's the time of year that retailers think about hiring extra help for the holidays. Labor experts in Oregon and Washington say job prospects for seasonal hires are ho-hum in the jolly ho-ho-ho season.

Washington state's Employment Department is predicting about 13,000 holiday jobs will materialize in the state through the end of the year. If true, that would fall short of last year's numbers.

Oregon doesn't issue a specific holiday jobs forecast, but employment economist Nick Beleiciks says last year employers hired about 11,000 Oregonians over the holidays. He expects that number to hold roughly steady this year.

But Beleichiks says not all jobs markets will be gifted equally.

"It's going to be where the malls are, realistically," he says. "It's going to be where the people go shopping. Those stores will be the busiest, and that's probably where we'll see the most jobs added."

Beleiciks says another strong holiday jobs provider is the parcel delivery business. The unemployment rate in both Oregon and Washington has been hovering around 9.5 percent.

Copyright 2011 Northwest News Network

On the Web:

Washington holiday hiring forecast:

http://www.esd.wa.gov/newsandinformation/releases/holiday-hiring-fewer-jobs-11-070.php

Oregon holiday hiring:

http://www.qualityinfo.org/olmisj/ArticleReader?itemid=00007796

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