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Central Ohio Businesses Get Competitive To Attract Holiday Workers

Job seekers at one of two fulfillment centers in Central Ohio.
Esther Honig
Job seekers at one of two fulfillment centers in Central Ohio.

Unemployment in Ohio is down as many businesses look for seasonal workers. Employers across the region are raising wages and offering other incentives in order to attract holiday help.

“Employers who have good prospects for good holiday sales will just have to go ahead and pay that higher wage,” says Lucia Dunn, an economist at The Ohio State University. “We do expect that we're going to see a higher wage with seasonal workers”

Seasonal work isn’t just retail, especially not in Columbus, which is a logistics hub for companies like Amazon, UPS and FedEx. Seasonal job listings include delivery drivers, package handlers and more.

At a UPS holiday hiring event, there were advertisements offering tuition assistance programs, and the possibility of continued full time employment.

“A lot of our employees including myself, we started as entry level positions and we work our way up,” says Fern Brown, the area human resources manager for UPS. “So whether they’re going into accounting, finance, engineering, security, human resources we want to promote those employees from ground roots up."

Despite unemployment being down and holiday hiring being up, some new workers tend to join the workforce during the holiday season.

“The sense of people who study labor markets is that Labor force participation is beginning to rise and so people who were not actively looking for a job a year or two years ago now are,” says Lucia Dunn.

It’s also common to see young people taking their first jobs around the holiday season, Dunn says.