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Holiday hiring boosts employment numbers

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LAWTON, Okla._ The November jobs report indicates that seasonal hiring is putting many back to work with the unemployment number dropping to a five year low.

New numbers suggest many seasonal hires will get an offer to stay past the holiday season, putting more unemployed people back on the payroll.

"The additional money they make helps them with their purchase of gifts for their family," said Eddie Hamra, owner of Edward's Men's Wear, Lawton.

Hamra says he brings in a few college students to help out during the busiest time of the year for his store.

"Thanksgiving through the end of December is easily 25 percent of our business," says Hamra.

Pat Beck, a business incubator manager at Great Plains Technology Center, says although many of these jobs are short-term, 25 percent of workers will turn that seasonal job into a more permanent position.

"Work the best you can, work as hard as you can and make the best impression you can, because that may be your rehearsal for a full time job offer," advises Beck.

Retailers like Massad's Gift Shop, Lawton, say they hold on to many of their seasonal workers after the holidays but are forced to cut their hours.

"(I) wouldn't be able to handle two more employees at full time," says Massad of the slow months that follow the holiday surge.

Holiday jobs don't have as significant of an impact as many would think, Beck says, because they're still are 75 percent of those holiday hires who are let go after the rush.

National retailers like Walmart tacked on more than 50,000 employees and Target added 70,000 addition associates. Only some will get year-round jobs from there.  

Another problem after the holidays is underemployment and individuals not making a full wage. In turn, those people will not have the flexible spending to pump back into the economy. 

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