Job Front: Little change expected in holiday hiring

Retail hiring this winter shopping season is expected to change little from last year’s strong showing, according to the National Retail Federation’s recent holiday forecast, but the trade group said retailers and customers continue to watch the economy and their wallets.

Forecasters predict anywhere from 720,000 to 780,000 seasonal retail hires nationwide, filling positions from sales associates to store managers, online staff and distribution center workers. About 720,500 seasonal workers were hired during the 2012 holiday season, according to the foundation – an increase of 13 percent from 2011.

Such seasonal hires have long been seen as a gateway to full-time work after the holidays. But the extent of retail hiring could depend on consumers’ confidence heading to the stores.

Foundation forecasters see what they termed “marginal” sales hikes in November and December – nearly 4 percent, or about $602.1 billion in sales – compared with a 3.5 percent increase in 2012. Though that still surpasses the 10-year average growth of 3.3 percent, the forecast is only cautiously optimistic.

“Our forecast leaves room for improvement, while at the same time provides a very realistic look at the state of the American consumer and their confidence in our economy,” said the foundation’s chief economist Jack Kleinhenz, in a statement announcing the forecast.

How active local employers will be this holiday season is still unclear, but area employers told local staffing agency Pacific Staffing in its quarterly outlook that they may stand pat this holiday season.

Just 2 percent of employers surveyed for Pacific Staffing’s report released in early October anticipated adding holiday help.

Job fair in Rocklin

Job seekers can meet nearly 60 employers from across the Sacramento region Friday at the Sierra College Job and Career Fair in Rocklin.

The free event, sponsored in part by Sierra College, Placer County and Connections job training centers, runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Campus Center on the Rocklin campus, 5000 Rocklin Road. Private and public-sector employers, including Golden 1 Credit Union, Target, Wells Fargo and Placer County, are expected to offer a range of full-time, part-time and seasonal positions. Parking is free.

Employment professionals will also be on hand to critique résumés.

Organizers recommend that job seekers do research on potential employers and complete online job applications before the event. Other suggestions: Dress in business attire and bring copies of your resumé.

“Employers’ expectations have risen,” said Brook Oliver, a Sierra College career and transfer counselor. “Come prepared and make the most of it.”

Employment professionals will also be on hand in the days before the event to review résumés from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday on the campus’ main quad.

For more information, call Career & Transfer Connections at Sierra College at (916) 660-7481.

Career development

Find information on job placement, vocational training and other services at a pair of free events in Sacramento this week.

Residents can learn about a number of free and low-cost resources available across the Sacramento area, from GED testing and computer classes to health insurance, counseling and adult literacy, at the SETA Head Start Neighborhood Resource Fair.

The free event runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday at SACA Community Learning Center, Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services, 2469 Rio Linda Blvd.

More than 15 local organizations are hosting the event along with SETA.

For more information, call SETA Head Start’s Robert Silva at (916) 263-3809.

On Saturday, Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services hosts its Career Development & Resource Fair from 9 a.m. to noon at its Education & Technology Center, 3308 Third Ave., Sacramento, for job seekers preparing for entry-level employment.

Workshops on résumés and state employment are available for job seekers as well as a seminar on interview skills. Participants can also meet with representatives of local employers and apply for open positions online on onsite computer stations.

For more information, call the food bank at (916) 456-1980.

Contact us

Is your company hiring? Is your organization hosting a career fair or offering job training?

Contact Job Front at dvsmith@sacbee.com.