Getting temporary work during the holidays is a great way to earn some extra spending money, but seasonal jobs are few and far between in St. Charles this year.
Corey Faucheux, director of economic development and tourism for the parish, said that employment usually jumps in the fourth quarter of the year. In 2010, about 50 local retail employees were hired during the holidays, raising the number from 1,667 employees during the majority of the year to 1,716 in the last quarter of the year.
But while some parish stores rely on seasonal employees to get them through the holidays, many others say they will not hire temporary employees this winter.
Rue 21 in Boutte is one of the few stores that is still accepting applications for seasonal work this year. Management said that temporary sales associates could last until after Mardi Gras, depending on sales and employee performance.
Kristi Brocato, owner of the Basketry, said that she has already finished hiring her seasonal employees. She is not alone – Mason Décor, Roussel’s Fine Jewelry and Martin’s Nursery have also already chosen their extra holiday workers.
Anthony Lucia, of Roussel’s, said that hiring early is important when preparing for the busy holiday season.
"They need training, so we start them early," Lucia said. "They really help when we start getting busy, even when someone just comes in to gift wrap."
Other stores said that their sales do not spike enough during the holidays to justify hiring new, part-time employees.
Majoria’s Supermarket, Merle Norman, Blessed Occassions and Family Dollar locations will not be hiring this winter.
The Shoe Dept. management decided to give extra hours to current employees, rather than hiring additional hands. And other stores, like Tiger Town Gifts, let past employees who have gone away to college work the additional hours while they are home for the holidays.