The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

November 8, 2010

Local job outlook improves

Temporary jobs have grown in past year

JOPLIN, Mo. — The holidays might be a bit merrier this year for people who are looking for work, both full-time and temporary.

Employment agencies say employment trends now are much better than they were at this time last year. And, they expect that trend to continue.

In addition, local retailers are hiring seasonal help for the holidays. Some stores have nearly completed that hiring in preparation for Black Friday, when shoppers hit the stores en masse for post-Thanksgiving bargains.

Amanda Fadness, human resources manager for Joplin’s Target store, said: “We have been hiring since the last couple of weeks in October. We’re getting things wrapped up now, including our schedule for Black Friday. We have to staff for that well in advance.”

Is there a chance some of those temporary hires could become permanent employees?

“Yes. It’s a way to check out new talent,” Fadness said.

The growth in temporary jobs for the fourth quarter of 2010 could be 20.9 percent higher that it was in the same period in 2009, according to a recent report in the Palmer Forecast, a consulting firm that advises companies about temporary staffing demands.

The consulting firm had projected a 20.3 percent increase in temporary help in the just-ended third quarter. That increase came in higher than anticipated at 21.6 percent, reflecting stronger than expected growth in the gross domestic product.

But the company’s founder, Greg Palmer, in a statement accompanying the report, said: “Nevertheless, it is important to be cognizant that consumer spending remains sluggish, the real estate and construction sector is still depressed in many markets, and many state and local governments continue to make additional job cuts. This all adds up to measured optimism and continued uncertainty.”

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics is reporting that temporary jobs grew by a seasonally adjusted 23.4 percent year-over-year in September. The increase in September added to the creation of 217,000 temp jobs since the beginning of the year.

A national outsourcing firm, Challenger, Gray & Christmas, is projecting that retailers will add between 550,000 and 650,000 jobs this holiday season. That’s significantly higher than the 501,400 added last year. But it’s still far below the 720,800 added in 2007 before the recession began.

For more on this story, pick up a copy of Tuesday's Joplin Globe or register for our E-Edition at joplinglobe.com.

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