• Holiday hiring expected to be stable, despite unemployment rate increase

    By: Tenikka Smith


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Christmas is still more than a month away, but Bass Pro Shop has already been transformed into "Santa's Wonderland."

    With the decorations comes workers to help bring it to life once it opens to families Saturday.

    "We've been in the process for a few weeks now. A lot of the folks have come in and they've gotten their training out of the way prepared for what's going to happen tomorrow," said General Manager Eric Winter.

    In addition to hiring Santa's helpers, Winter said he was also hiring stockers, cashiers and other employees.

    Winter said the extra help has already come in handy with the early rush of shoppers visiting the area for this weekend's World of Outlaws World Finals at the Dirt Track.
    He also plans to hire more staff leading up to holidays.

    "As business continues to increase we will hire for more needs that we have and then if we have anything we need to replace we'll replace that as well," Winter said.

    The National Retail Federation expects retailers to hire at least 720,000 seasonal workers, which is similar to last year.

    Right now the national unemployment rate is 7.3 percent up from 7.2 percent in September, but the figure is still the lowest entering the holiday shopping season since 2009.

    University of North Carolina at Charlotte Economist John Connaughton told Channel 9 that consumer confidence is steady and he predicts hiring could even be a little better helping us to end 2014 on a good note.

    Analysts said the unemployment rate likely increased because of the government shutdown. Furloughed workers were classified as unemployed for the month.

    Click here to read more about U.S. job growth in October.

    To see more local news stories, click here.

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