Despite a slump in the job market, one place students can still find jobs this holiday season is in the business of Christmas trees.
“When the economy is tight we generally do better,” owner of Arneson’s Tree Farm Lots, Greg Arneson, said. “We feel it’s because people just stay home for Christmas, versus flying somewhere because airfare is cheap.”
With business up for the Christmas tree lots, Arneson’s nine locations in Chicago look to hire the same amount of people they always do.
“We hire the same amount every year, no cutbacks,” he said. “We have been in the tree business for over 65 years, and this is the trend we see.”
Students unable to bear the inclement weather have other options as well.
UPS looks to hire every season for ride-alongs with its drivers. Ride-alongs deliver packages to houses while the driver stays in the truck, reducing the amount of time it takes to deliver packages.
Students from the Peoria area, or students not traveling back home, also have some options.
J.D., a manager at Target in Peoria who’s last name could not be revealed because of Target policies, said he is seeing the same amount of people needing to be hired as in years past.
“It actually helps us out quite a bit with companies not able to [hire],” he said. “I’m not sure whether it’s the economy or other retail stores going under.”
J.D. also said just because people are hired for seasonal work doesn’t mean they won’t be kept once the holiday rush is over.
“It depends on them, what they want do and their performance,” he said.
If a general store doesn’t sound like an appealing way to spend Winter Break, seasonal postings in retail shops in malls have been limited.
Three stores in the Saint Louis Galleria are open for seasonal hiring, with one position being a helper to Santa Claus.
The Cherry Vale Mall in Rockford features one more seasonal opportunity than the Galleria.
To save a trip home for applying and to beat the rush. Many students can try to use online job search engines to find their temporary jobs.
Popular engines to use are Careerbuilder.com, Monster.com, Hotjobs.com and Craigslist.com.
The Chicago area turned out the most job opportunities. As of Tuesday, 174 were listed on Craigslist.com under seasonal, and on Monster.com there were 42, with the bulk of those being from UPS.
Of the four engines, St. Louis natives have the most opportunities listed on Craigslist.com followed by Hotjobs.com and Monster.com.
Peoria residents have slim-pickings with online resources, but in proportion to population size, the opportunities are roughly the same.
Hotjobs.com listed eight opportunities in the Peoria area.
Throughout Illinois there are 144 listings on Careerbuilder.com, with more than half of the opportunities with T-Mobile or UPS.