Job seekers are in the "driver's seat" this holiday season, expert says

·1 min read

More than half a million Americans typically look for extra work around the holiday season. With inflation at a record high and a  possible recession looming, more people are being driven to look for seasonal jobs.

And one expert says that even as the labor market begins to cool, it is still sizzling.

"This is the best job seekers market of all times," said Julia Pollak, chief economist for ZipRecruiter, an online marketplace for employment. "Employers are still having to make very attractive offers, and job seekers are still in the driver's seat."

Companies are coming out with big incentives, including higher wages. Amazon announced this month it is offering sign-on bonuses up to $3,000, with potential opportunities for full-time jobs.

With holiday costs expected to increase by 6% this year, people are looking for ways to keep up.

There are plenty of opportunities to be found.

Jason Mabel, head of Splendid's East Coast operations, told CBS News he struggled to fill shifts the last two years. This year, he kicked off hiring even earlier -– in September.

"This is the time where maybe a teacher might have off during a few weeks during the holiday season and they want to come in and pick up some shifts," he said.

But as consumers jump-start holiday shopping earlier to stretch their budgets, and plan to spend less than usual, major retailers are divided on how they are hiring.

While Amazon and Target are aiming for roughly the same holiday hires as 2021, Walmart — the nation's largest retailer — announced it is bringing on only about a quarter of last year's figure. Macy's is also pulling back, taking on about half as many seasonal workers as last year.