As tri-state retailers are hoping for a Black Friday bonanza this holiday weekend, there’s also hope for millions of unemployed workers. Stores are hiring more temporary workers this holiday season than they did in the past two years. With nearly 15 million people out of work in the United States, many of those employed for November and December are optimistic they will take on the positions full time.
And their positive attitude comes with good reason. Forty percent of retailers hiring holiday workers say they plan to make at least some of those jobs permanent.
Toys R Us is hiring 45,000 temporary workers – that’s up 30 percent from last year. Amazing is hiring more than 15,000 and UPS is bringing in 50,000 more workers.
From the looks of Black Friday turnout at tri-state area malls and stores, things appeared promising. With what is commonly known as the biggest shopping day of the year already well underway,those extra hands are going to be needed.
Some stores opened Thanksgiving night to account for the expected stampede of shoppers. By early Friday morning, the bargains had already been flying off the shelf for hours.
At 10 p.m. Thursday, the Times Square Toys R Us opened its doors to a massive crowd. Some shoppers even donned Santa Claus hats for the occasion, though their jolly mood turned serious once the hunt for bargans got underway.
In Paramus, shoppers had to wait an extra hour to satisfy their spending jones.
On Tuesday, the borough council tabled am easure that would have allowed stores in Paramus to open as early as 5 a.m.
The mayor said the borough will strictly enforce the ordinance, which prevents stores from opening before 7 a.m. Extra code enforcement officers have been out since 4 a.m. Friday morning, to make sure stores and malls keep their doors closed.
Experts expect this year’s Black Friday to be more popular than ever, and they point to the calendar as the reason.
Figures also show consumers shopping online earlier this season with sales up 15 percent when compared to this time last year.