Seasonal work drying up, but opportunities elsewhere

By: Lindsay Veremis Email
By: Lindsay Veremis Email

The holidays brought a boom for many retailers, but with the holiday season wrapping up, so too are seasonal jobs.

"We had a very successful season, Target was very conscious that our guests are looking for great price points, great deals," store manager Christine Elsesser said.

According to Capital Area Michigan Works, many seasonal workers are looking to pad their holiday wallets, but others are in temp work because they need work. Seasonal employment is all they can find.

The most recent numbers available, show the Capital Region's unemployment rate at its best in years, 6.7 percent. But workforce leaders say job growth remains painfully slow in Michigan.

The Lansing Mall says many of its stores added seasonal positions this year. Most began hiring in October for positions they plan to phase out in mid January.

However, job experts say few of those positions will become full time work.

Kmart and Sears recently announced they will be closing six Michigan stores, but Doug Stites with Michigan Works says job seekers can afford cautious optimism on a local level.

"The entire Lansing market, all three Lansing stores are in the process or are about to be in the process of remodeling," Elsesser said. "So, Target is really investing in the Lansing area.

Target couldn't put a number on the amount of jobs it will add locally, but did say it will have openings for all shifts, at all three stores come spring.

"So we really are going to be having a lot of openings," Elsesser added.

Doug Stites, with Michigan Works, says in retail and elsewhere Lansing job seekers are faring better than the rest of the state because Lansing has a diversified economy.

He says the unemployment rate was improving before seasonal hiring began and should continue it's slow tick down throughout 2012.

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