Job seekers can find success during holiday season, analysts say

Published: Saturday, Dec. 14 2013 7:00 p.m. MST

Approaching the end of the year, much of the focus on temporary jobs is on the retail sector, explained Katie Evans, public relations manager for Robert Half International, a human resource-consulting firm based in San Ramon, Calif., and parent company of Accountemps.

“At Robert Half, we are seeing demand for temporary professionals in a number of accounting and administrative support areas,” Evans said.

Private sector employment increased in all nine U.S. Census Bureau Divisions during November, according to the ADP Regional Employment Report that measures monthly changes in regional non-farm private employment on a seasonally adjusted basis.

While temporary retail hiring was expected to be slightly lower than last year nationally, according to a report from Chicago-based outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, November still represented the second highest one-month employment gain for the retail industry on record.

For those in need of employment assistance in Utah, the state has free resources available to anyone to help them devise a sound strategy to find their next job.

And the holidays are as good a time as any, said Heather Mousley, work success coach with the Utah Department of Workforce Services.

“That’s a nasty rumor,” Mousley said about the notion of a lack of hiring during the holidays.

“We prepare (candidates) with a career portfolio that includes mock interviewing and the latest techniques for job searching,” she said.

The department conducts a two- to four-week work success program in which candidates attend 40-hour-per-week seminars on finding employment.

“As a state, Utah has an 80 percent employment rate (through the program),” Mousley said.

Additionally, candidates are still finding full-time, permanent placements — even during the holiday season, she said.

“We get them from all (sectors), including retail, engineering and other professions,” Mousely said.

Currently, there are more than 4,700 job openings statewide across a wide array of career fields, she noted, meaning there are plenty of opportunities for candidates willing to take the time to pursue them.

“The majority of them are full time, from plumbers, painters, to forklift drivers and senior analysts — the whole gamut,” Mousley said. “The reality is that now is a great time (to look for a job).”

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