Chicago (CBS) — Retailers are competing with each other to fill positions because of the weak economy.
“Now Hiring” signs hang on the window of Art Effect in Lincoln Park. Esther Fishman, Art Effect’s owner, calls it a “commercial general store”.READ MORE: Chicago Culture Celebrates The City While Giving Back To Youth For Black History Month
“We have not been getting the response we normally get,” Fishman said. “We normally have our pick of people applying for jobs.”
But with the national unemployment rate at under four percent, this is a workers’ job market. So, Fishman is in a fierce competition with other retailers to find employees.
Target is looking to hire 120,000 workers across the nation for the holiday season and is offering incentives: a $12 an hour minimum wage, flexible schedules and discounts on Target merchandise.READ MORE: Mother And 10-Year-Old Daughter Dead, 4 Family Members Hospitalized After House Fire In Auburn Gresham
Leslie Carr filled out an application on Target’s website Tuesday.
“I just want a ‘yes’ and come in for an interview,” Carr said. “I just want to hear that.”
Carr might find herself in demand. Amazon raised the stakes for all employers this week, hiking its minimum wage to $15 an hour. Experts say this is putting pressure on other companies to increase their pay.
The “cream of the crop” is how Fishman describes candidates for her jobs back when the economy was struggling. Today, she’s struggling to fill five positions.MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: Warm But Wet Sunday Morning Ahead Of Cold Front
Experts say this is an ideal time for lower skilled workers, who are competing with higher skilled employees for fewer jobs now that the economy is weak.