Seasonal hiring unlikely to match last year's numbers

If you're hoping to snag a holiday job, you better hurry. Stores are in the hiring mode, but the seasonal job outlook is not great this year.

Last year was a good one for seasonal jobs, with 750,000 workers hired nationwide. This year, the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas says that number could drop to around 700,000.

Walmart says it will hire 55,000 seasonal workers this year, up ten percent over last year, but Target says it will hire 20 percent fewer seasonal employees this year.

At the SC Works office in Horry County, job placement officials say there are plenty of local seasonal openings in the retail sector.

"So, Kmart-Sears, Verizon, T-mobile - those have associate positions that are advertised and also various, various positions within the factory outlet domain," said Elisabeth Favorite, a career development specialist at the SC Works Conway office.

State officials say unemployed people could lose some of their jobless benefits by taking a seasonal job, depending on a number of factors, like how much money they make and how long the job lasts.

Officials say, if you're unemployed and get a seasonal job, you should continue to file weekly claims, reporting how much you earn. The state will determine your benefits.

Some jobless people are ready to take any job right now, regardless of the circumstances.

"You have a limited number of weeks of unemployment, so it's not something you want to do for a lifetime, but a few weeks, OK. Eventually you find something," said Ray Marshall of Myrtle Beach, who has been unemployed for a couple of weeks.

Favorite stresses that temporary jobs often turn into permanent ones, if the worker has the right attitude and gives it their all.

"With the hope that you will put an impression on that employer and hopefully the possibility might be there to gain long term employment or that they will call you back," she said.

Favorite says no experience is needed for most seasonal jobs, but retail employers are looking for people who are customer service friendly and able to be team players.