employers will hire about 420 workers for the
holiday season, according to a state estimate.
That would put holiday hiring down slightly from 2014, when
Kitsap businesses added 465 in October, November and December.
The Employment Security
Department is projecting holiday hiring statewide to be
roughly even with 2014. Washington employers hired 14,753
holiday workers last year. The state predicts 15,066 will be hired
“Sales growth, particularly during
the holiday season, has remained steady over recent years,” state
labor economist Paul Turek said in a news release. “An
improving jobs picture has supported consumer spending and should
lead to a positive retail season in Washington.”
The bulk of the
seasonal hiring will be in general merchandise stores, adding 8,064
jobs. Clothing and clothing-accessory stores expect to hire 3,929
holiday workers, according to the department.
Kitsap County has
added jobs in recent years. Retail sales have rebounded
from the recession.
But if projections hold true, those trends have yet
to translate into happier holidays for Kitsap’s under-employed.
In a conversation Thursday, Turek pointed to two
factors that may temper holiday hiring.
First, shoppers are more likely to buy online, which
lessens the need for actual human beings to run cash
registers and stock shelves.
Second, employers have been hiring more workers
earlier in the year, which means they are more likely to
extend holiday hours for their existing employees rather than
hire temporary help.
Here’s a breakdown of holiday hiring projections in
Washington (Bremerton = all of Kitsap County):