Meijer to Hire 500 Seasonal Workers in Lansing Area

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Meijer announced Tuesday it will hire 12,000 people for the upcoming holiday shopping season, including hundreds in the Lansing area.

The store expects to keep some of those workers into the new year. According to Michigan Works, local retailers add jobs from September to December. Hiring really picks up in November, so if you're out of work now is a great time to look.

"We're virtually interviewing for all areas of the store, whether you'll be a cashier, general merchandise help, stocking positions on third shift," Meijer Manager Chris Wilson said.

Meijer is the latest in a string of retailers announcing a seasonal job boost. Macy's, Kohls, Wal-Mart and Toys R' Us are all hiring more workers this year than last. The gains aren't huge, about one or two percent, but they do show retailers are optimistic.

"A marked improvement from the doldrums we were in back when the economy almost fell off the cliff," Tom Scott, with the Michigan Retailers Association said.

Of the 12,000 new Meijer jobs, 6,000 will land in Michigan and what is temporary now, could become full time.

"Everybody's a little bit different, some people come here for a career, some people come here as a second job, some people come here to work as their going to college, so we have opportunties for a lot of people," Wilson said.

According to the Michigan Retailers Association, 15-20 percent of seasonal workers stay on to become permanent employees.

"Of course it depends on the economy and how the store is doing," Scott added. "But it's not unusual for some percentage of the seasonal workers to end up with a full time job."

Nationally, retail is predicting about a 4 percent increase in holiday sales. That's not enough to get us to pre-recession levels, but nonetheless a good sign for those out of work.

"A job is better than no job," Andrea Kerbuski with Michigan Works said. "Even if this might be temporary, you're getting your foot in the door."

Retailers say flexibility will set seasonal job-seekers apart. With so many stores open 24 hours during the holidays, managers want employees who are flexible about their hours and the days they can work.

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