seasonal workers

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COLUMBIA - The holiday shopping season is here, and it is also a season when some industries hire more employees to handle the extra wave of customers.

Sales Associate Anna Coleman started working at Envy on East Broadway in early August as a part-time employee. Although she was not a seasonal worker at the shop for Thanksgiving, she still worked during the Thanksgiving weekend.

Coleman had some experience in the food industry before she came to Envy, but she said she needed extra money and was looking for a change.

The shop hired three seasonal workers for Thanksgiving.

"A lot of the girls here are college students, so they go out of the town for the seasonal holidays," said Coleman. "So we need extra help so that when people go out of the town, we have people to replace them and people to be here."

Coleman also said when there are holidays, there are always more people coming to the shop for good sales.

Lauren Ward, the store manager, noticed that seasonal workers at the shop worked really hard. She said although she has a good and full staff now, there is a chance for those seasonal workers to stay.

Director of the District Carrie Gartner said during the holidays, current workers get longer hours at some places and other places hire seasonal workers.

"Clothing and gift shops hire the most seasonal workers, I would say, mainly because that is where the most holiday shopping is being done," Gartner said.

But she also said it depends on the time of the year and the type of businesses.

Ward also noticed retail stores hire more seasonal workers than restaurants.

"It's harder for those people to leave because they know how much money they make on tips," said Ward. "Well here, this is fun; this is energetic. You can get a discount if you work here after a certain amount of time, so I mean for us in the retail, it's easy to get girls trained."

Ward said there are a lot of people applying for seasonal positions. When Christmas is getting closer, she might hire more seasonal workers.

Besides these industries, a Reuters article earlier reported United Parcel Service Inc, or UPS, expected shipments during this holiday season to go up 10 percent from last year, and planned to hire 55,000 seasonal workers for the season.

Another Reuters article said FedEx Corp also planned to hire 20,000 seasonal workers to handle the holiday shipping volume.