CHICAGO (CBS) — More than 2 million people in Illinois have filed new jobless claims since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, but tens of thousands of seasonal jobs are up for grabs in the Chicago area now.
CBS 2’s Marie Saavedra is working for Chicago with information on how you can find one of these jobs. Working For Chicago is our commitment to bring you information about the unemployment crisis that will help you get back on your feet.
Macy’s on State Street in Chicago held a job fair Thursday. People interviewed via phone for opportunities on the floor and behind the scenes for seasonal work, and there are thousands more jobs like that out there for those looking.
“The worst thing about it is you just don’t know how long it’s going to be on hold,” said waitress Jessalyn Wittmayer.
She is living in a kind of limbo. Back in March life was busy.
“I was working maybe 30, 40 hours a week as a waitress, trying to make any money I could just to save up,” she said.
She is saving up for a wedding to her fiance, Josh. That even is now on hold because she is out of a job due to the pandemic. She says her job was her only source of income.
Things can feel bleak for those job hunting, but the holiday season is ushering in some silver linings.
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“The bright spots we saw were really focused in transportation and warehousing, kind of the back end of e-commerce as consumers plan to do a lot of their holiday shopping online,” said Andy Challenger of Challenger, Gray and Christmas, Inc.
He said seasonal hiring is the best bet to pay bills right now.
Nationwide Target is looking for 130,000 employees. UPS is looking for 100,000. FedEx is looking for 70,000. Macy’s and Dollar Tree are looking for 25,000. Kroger Brands needs 20,000. And Michael’s is filling 16,000 jobs.
“If you really come across to a potential hiring manager as someone that’s going to be really flexible that’s a great way to win these temporary jobs during the holidays,” Challenger said.
These may be the key for anyone whose life is in limbo like Wittmayer’s.
“Just kind of go day by day,” she said.
There is always hope that seasonal work could turn into something more long term, and the business analyst CBS 2 talked to said it is possible as more and more companies push their digital shopping and shipping as more of people order things online.