Retailers expect to struggle filling seasonal positions

Major retailers are hiring for the holiday season to meet pent-up consumer demand, but some business experts said it won’t be easy.

Amazon is among the companies looking to hire seasonal workers, announcing Monday plans to fill 150,000 seasonal jobs nationwide.

"I think that it's going to be very challenging for retailers to find the amount of people that they need to have to staff the stores, and staff the warehouses and staff the supply chains to take care of all the business this year," said Greg Manning, a business consultant for the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of South Florida.

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Manning said it’s been a year of trying to fill jobs, with struggles felt not only in storefronts but in delivery services and warehouses too. CareerSource Tampa Bay is working with businesses and job applicants to match them up with jobs.

"Amazon opened a brand new distribution center in Temple Terrace, and we're still trying to staff that. So there's jobs here. There's plenty of jobs here," said Mario Rodriquez, a business development manager at CareerSource Tampa Bay.

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Rodriquez said filling seasonal jobs won’t be the only challenge this holiday season. Consumers will feel the strain too.

"Popular electronics, popular toys or popular items that usually do well around the holiday season, from Black Friday on, if you don't buy them early you may not be able to buy them at all or until after the holiday," said Rodriquez.

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There’s a good chance for longer lines and out-of-stock items, so experts said seasonal workers will have more on their plates this time.

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"I would just say everybody needs to try and play nice and realize that it's hard on the retail side, and it's hard on the consumer side," said Manning.

Hiring managers said companies will likely have to increase pay to draw in seasonal workers because a lot of retail and service workers didn’t return to those jobs because of the pay and other factors.