United Parcel Service (NYSE:UPS) has announced plans to hire roughly 95,000 workers for the holiday season this year. In a statement, Myron Gray, president of UPS’s U.S. Operations, said, “We’re ready to kick off our annual holiday hiring process, and need lots of great people for various positions on all shifts across the country.” Both part-time and full-time jobs will be available. Many of the jobs will entail driving or handling packages.
UPS is one of the largest users of temporary Christmas-time employees in the country. All the toys, trinkets and other packages that start shipping in November on through the new year require a massive force to sort and deliver. The company hired about 93,000 temporary workers last year. The company is also recruiting retired UPS employees to return for the season.
Seasonal hiring is about to go into high gear. Toys R Us is holding two national hiring days Oct. 10 and Nov. 11 to fill thousands of part-time positions at its stores and distribution facilities. Toys R Us expects to add at least 10,900 workers in five of its biggest market, but a nationwide figure for the company has not been provided. Target plans to hire 70,000 holiday workers for its stores and 7,500 seasonal workers for its distribution and fulfillment centers. The retailer is holding hiring events at all its stores Oct. 14-15.
Some of the seasonal positions could lead to permanent opportunities. More than 37 percent of temporary package handlers at UPS were hired for permanent jobs from 2012 through 2014. For comparison, Toys R Us estimates that 15 percent to 20 percent of its seasonal workers are hired permanently.
The tight labor market is pushing many employers to lock up seasonal workers earlier each year.
In some parts of the U.S., UPS is offering bonuses and higher wages for holiday help. UPS will offer incentives in as many as 80 markets this year. Temporary package handlers will receive starting pay of $10.50 an hour in some areas. Tractor-trailer drivers will get as much as $30 an hour, based on location. In the Louisville, Kentucky area, the company recently started a program offering tuition and housing assistance to attract employees.
Getting the staffing right is very important for UPS this year. In the 2013 peak season, last-minute online orders overloaded UPS’s network, resulting in some packages being delivered late. The following year, the company over-hired for the holiday season, which left some employees and equipment idle. Last year, the company experienced few delays in delivering packages ahead of the Christmas holiday.