Holiday hiring kicking off months in advance

FRESNO

For some Party City employees, it's a Halloween dream.

"Halloween would be, compared to other stores, it's our Christmas. We do probably 25-percent of our business all year in a single month," Party City employee Kaleb Rusca said.

The managers of the four Valley locations met Tuesday morning to get ready for the company's busiest time of year - and this year they're planning to double their staff to meet demand.

At Fashion Fair mall in North Fresno, retailers are still wrapping up their back-to-school clearance sales but the managers at Sports Station say it's not too early to apply for holiday jobs now.

A recent survey of major retailers showed many are optimistic about a good holiday sales season, but they're hedging their bets by hiring the same or fewer workers this year.

"People are still extremely cautious about what might happen next," Kathy Bray of Denham Resources said.

With so much uncertainty and competition for jobs, Bray says think outside the box. For example, don't just look where they sell video games, but who makes them locally for production and distribution jobs too.

"If a candidate was clever and sort of did some research and thought about what kinds of companies, what kinds of things are sold at Christmas," Bray said.

That's because beyond the holiday season, seasonal jobs can lead to permanent ones.

Especially because things have been so tough for the last two or three years, many businesses have made major cuts. Now they say they're building their staffing levels back up slowly.

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