CHICAGO (CBS) — With high temperatures hovering in the 80s, it might be hard to think about Christmas, but that’s exactly what retailers are doing as they get ready for the holiday shopping season.
Amazon hired 120,000 seasonal workers last year, and is expected to hire even more this year, including about 6,000 in the Chicago area. Seasonal employees at Amazon will make $15 an hour to start, more than double the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.READ MORE: Chicago Sky Win First WNBA Championship As They Top Phoenix Mercury
Target also plans to hire about 120,000 people for the holiday season, a record for a brick-and-mortar retailer. The company plans to hold hiring events Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at all of its stores.
Macy’s said it will add at least 80,000 workers ahead of the holiday rush.READ MORE: Jubilant And Inspired Fans, Booming Businesses Near Wintrust Arena As Chicago Sky Win WNBA Championship
That could push overall hiring across the country to well above 670,000 people for the final three months of the year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The demand for seasonal workers can make it tougher for mom-and-pop businesses like Art Effects to find holiday employees. Esther Fishman is looking to hire five people for the holidays.
“It has been very difficult lately, yes. I think a lot of people are employed, and they have their pick of jobs, and we have not been getting the response that we normally get,” she said. “We normally have our pick of people applying for jobs. Now we’re getting very few applications. Very few résumés are being sent to us.”MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: Slow Warm-Up Beginning
It’s not just retailers who are stepping up hiring for the holidays. UPS plans to hire 95,000 workers to deliver holiday packages, including about 4,000 employees in the Chicago area.