Holiday hiring in retail, service industries might take on completely different look this year, says local business expert

Holiday hiring may look different this year due to coronavirus pandemic

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Typically at this time of year, you begin to see seasonal hiring posters on business doors. One Baton Rouge expert explains that seasonal hiring may take on a completely different shape this year.

“Who we normally count on for seasonal hiring, they’re having an existential crisis right now,” said Andrew Fitzgerald, senior director of business intelligence at BRAC.

Fall and winter are usually big seasons for the retail and service industries, with weeks of gift shopping and holiday parties. However, Fitzgerald says hiring helping hands for this holiday season might not be as necessary.

“This year is an open question. Are people going to have holiday parties? Not like they did before,” said the senior director.

That’s one reason why holiday hiring might not be big this year. Another reason is industries might need to make up for lost time from the spring and summer.

“We really missed the across the board hiring when people graduated in May, so will that be pushed back? Or as things get back closer to normal, will that kind of hiring happen at the end of the year?” Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald says holiday hiring is a big question mark for now because of the pandemic. It could head in a different direction than what we’ve seen in the past.

ONE-STOP-SHOP: Stats, links related to COVID-19

“Instead of people shopping in store, maybe they’ll shop online,” he said. “Then the seasonal work is delivery work, it’s working in a warehouse. It’s not working on a retail store floor.”

With Baton Rouge’s unemployment rate down to 7.1%, people may take to the stores again with cash in hand. Fitzgerald is hopeful seasonal jobs might pop up in a month or two.

Besides seasonal work, BRAC is noticing a big availability for jobs in industries like IT, healthcare, and cleaning services.

See similar stories:

Click here to report a typo.

Copyright 2020 WAFB. All rights reserved.