This year’s holiday season brings employment opportunities for older adults. 

With consistently low unemployment rates, the holiday demand for retail and delivery services and new technologies, older workers are finding more opportunities this holiday season. In a Forbes article titled Hiring Older Workers Is Suddenly In Season, Chris Farrell reported that—retailers hire huge numbers of older workers as they find them reliable holiday employees. The Forbes article suggests that this seasonal employment can lead to year-round opportunities for some. Getting a foot in the door through seasonal employment can offer older workers opportunities to overcome stereotypes, demonstrate their skills, and potentially turn into a permanent position.

Secretary of Labor, Alexander Acosta’s December 7th statement reported that the November 3.7% unemployment rate continues to indicate a strong job market in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the teen labor force is expected to continue its downward trend into 2024.  With decreased unemployment and less competition from teens, older workers are finding more part-time and entry-level job opportunities.

Jonathan Berr’s CBS News article, titled Holiday hiring is set to hit a multiyear high in 2018, predicted that retailers are expected to hire more than 700,000 seasonal workers. Not only are retailers looking for seasonal workers, package delivery companies are also predicting increased hiring during this busy holiday season. Berr’s article reports that UPS plans to hire 100,000 seasonal workers this year. These positions would include package handlers and driver helpers.

New technologies are also assisting older workers with securing employment. Employers are offering more flexibility and benefits to meet their increased labor demands. For example, with more shopping transactions taking place online, retailers are hiring people to work from home to assist with customer service and sales calls. In their article, Companies with Work from Home Holiday Jobs, The Balance Careers website reports that home-based call centers and retailers increase hiring during the holiday season. With more assistive technology becoming available and employers embracing more flexible work schedules and accommodations, more and more older workers are positioned to receive the gift of employment in 2019. Have you placed SCSEP participants in work from home positions? If so, share your story with your SCSEP colleagues in the comments section.

This is all good news for SCSEP participants! Wishing you and your community happy holidays and a prosperous new year!

Image of a red ribbon and holly