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You’ve probably heard that product shortages, long delays, and high prices are expected to be the themes of the 2021 holiday season — and the businesses on the front lines know it. Supply-chain shortages, port backlogs, high fuel costs, and the lingering effects of COVID-19 are stoking intense competition for seasonal workers among the giant companies that make the holidays happen.
If you’re looking for a wintertime side hustle, 2021 is the year to forget the snowplow, forget the Christmas tree stand, and forget knitting scarves to sell on Etsy. This year, you’ll earn more working part-time for the corporations that have the cash to compete for your labor. Your labor, after all, is in high demand right now — and you can charge a premium for it.
The Christmastime heavy-hitters are currently advertising hundreds of thousands of seasonal jobs that offer good pay, flexible schedules, and — in many cases — the opportunity to transition to full-time work in the new year, should you so choose.
If you’re looking to turn time into money during the holidays, there is no shortage of options in 2021.
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Sign on With the Amazon Holiday Machine
You already buy everything from Amazon. Why not let the money change directions and flow to you for once by joining Bezos and company for the holidays? Amazon is now filling 150,000 seasonal jobs to prepare for the peak season. The average pay is $18 an hour, but certain shifts in certain locations start at $3 more, and Amazon is giving out bonuses of up to $3,000 to sign on now.
If you’re looking to turn that side hustle into an all-the-time thing in 2022, Amazon stresses that many part-time seasonal hires will have the opportunity to stay on full-time if they choose. One of the most important perks is flexible scheduling, which keeps many Amazon seasonal workers coming back year after year. Positions are open company-wide, including in shipping, packing, stowing, and picking.
Join FedEx’s Army of Seasonal Recruits
Many companies began holiday hiring in October, but FedEx announced its intention to hire 90,000 seasonal workers back in mid-September. That’s a lot more than last year, when FedEx hired only 70,000 workers to meet peak-season demand. It has already started hosting hiring events across the country for seasonal positions, which include forklift driver, technician, manager, package handler, courier, driver and customs coordinator.
According to active posts on Indeed.com, many positions include bonuses and pay up to $25 an hour. Plenty of them are tagged “urgently hiring” and many come with “seasonal pay enhancements.”
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UPS is hiring 100,000 workers to meet the many challenges it will face during the all-important peak holiday season. Most of the positions are for drivers, driver helpers, personal vehicle drivers, and package handlers. More than one in three current UPS workers — 138,000 employees — started as seasonal hires, and right now, prospects are receiving offers within 30 minutes of applying.
One of the most impressive benefits is for students who, through the UPS Earn and Learn program, can earn up to $1,300 for college expenses on top of their hourly pay. A handful of the jobs UPS is currently advertising start in the teens, but most of its seasonal jobs pay up to $20 or more an hour.
Remember, it’s the Season of Retail
Walmart, still the biggest name in retail, is hiring 150,000 workers this holiday season with competitive pay and good benefits. In a twist, however, most of those jobs will be permanent, full-time positions. That’s a dealbreaker for anyone looking for a little gravy on the side for a few months over the holiday season — but while Walmart is the world’s biggest retailer, it’s not the only one. Many of Walmart’s competitors are, once again, opening the books for traditional seasonal workers.
- Target is hiring 100,000 workers to meet the holiday surge. Pay starts at $15 an hour, more in some locations, and the big-box retailer offers 10%-20% employee discounts and flexible scheduling.
- Kohl’s is filling 90,000 seasonal positions to meet the holiday demand. Those who sign on are eligible for bonuses of between $100-$400.
- Macy’s is hiring 76,000 workers for the busy season, not only in its stores, but in its distribution centers, call centers, and fulfillment centers.
- GAP offers competitive pay and flexible schedules for the tens of thousands of seasonal workers that it’s hiring right now. Aside from wages, new hires enjoy a generous 50% off at Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, and Athleta.
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Last updated: Nov. 2, 2021