Employers in the food service and retail sectors are expandingbenefits as they bulk up staff for the holiday season. And with thecontinued shift to online purchasing of an ever wider range ofitems, it appears more of the seasonal hires will be moved topermanent positions once the holiday rush is over.

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Those observations come from the online job search providerJobdiagnosis.com, which specializes in food service and retaillistings. The company said considerable anecdotal informationindicates the benefits and seasonal-to-permanent trends have takenhold in those industries.

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In a release, Jobdiagnosis.com reported that online retail firmsand related companies will be adding more staff this season thanlast. Among the examples cited:

  • Amazon plans to hire 100,000employees for winter seasonal positions;

  • UPS will add 95,000 seasonal positions as it grows tohandle the extra service demand created by online retailers likeAmazon;

  • Similarly, FedEx plans to hire 55,000 seasonal employees.

Meantime, brick-and-mortar retailers are also staffing up for abig sales season. Examples include:

  • Macy’s, hiring 85,000;

  • Target, 70,000;

  • Wal-Mart, 60,000;

  • Gamestop, 28,000.

Jobdiagnosis.com said in recent years, these employers have beenretaining an increasing percentage of seasonal workers as full-timestaff, a trend that will increase in 2016. Meantime, as theseretail players seek to become more competitive, they are beefing upbenefits packages and extending the enhanced packages to moreemployees than in the past. More employers are offering educationand training related benefits as they pursue a strategy of buildinga better educated workforce, Jobdiagnosis.com said.

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“If this [benefits] trend gains traction and spreads, it willhave a positive influence not only on the hourly workers, but onthe job market and economy in general,” says Michael Derikrava,president of Jobdiagnosis.com. “People will gain skills that willenable them to move up to management positions, which will open upadditional opportunities for more entry-level customer supportjobs. This will also reduce employee turnover for thecompanies, because of the economic advantage these benefits willgive their employees.”

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.