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Arkansas businesses hiring more employees as holiday shopping picks up

Holiday shopping is always a crazy time for businesses as they scramble to find employees to fill the seasonal positions that they have available.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — This time of year is always crazy as business scramble to find employees to fill seasonal positions. This year could be a little different for those businesses though, as more applicants could be in the job pool.

"We do worry about getting the people to come in to fill those positions that we have," Henry Rodgers, General Manager at Bass Pro Shops, said. "Maintain the hiring needs that we need to do for this particular year also."

Bass Pro is already in the season of hiring. A job fair has been on site for both Wednesday and Thursday to try and hire as many positions as they can.

"We're looking to hire 60 people this time, and so far, yesterday we had a good trend. We got about half of that yesterday," Rodgers said.

This year those positions are even more available, both for Bass Pro Shops and for other retailers.

"A nationwide event for Bass Pro. Nationwide I think the company is looking to hire like 7,000 people," Rodgers said.

This annual push to hire more employees comes as many people have left their job. In August alone, more than four million Americans quit their jobs – that's almost 3% of the nation's total workforce.

So why is that? Many are looking for something new, or just want a better opportunity.

"Find something that is perhaps more rewarding, higher paying, more in line with one's skills," Michael Pakko, Chief Economist at the Arkansas Economic Development Institute, said.

Pakko has been tracking these employment trends and what they can mean for the average consumer. He said to expect to see some issues this holiday season.

"It does seem like there's going to be difficulty in getting employees to fill those slots this year, so we might expect that to be another constraint on our holiday shopping, along with supply constraints on the actual goods on the shelves," Pakko said.  

So while there may be more issues this year, Rodgers isn't worried about it. He said they have the positions open and all they need is someone willing to fill it.

"We do have jobs. We have had jobs and if you're looking for a job, my message to you is go online, fill out an application, give us a call and let's see if we can't find you a job here at Bass Pro," he said.

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