Oct 11, 2010 7:11 PM by John Romero
It may only be mid October, but some stores in Southern Colorado are already hearing "Jingle Bells". "It's definitely the warm up for Christmas." explains Rebecca Berg, the owner of Barracuda Bazaar clothing store in Old Colorado City, "People are starting to look around at the stores to see what's available for Christmas."
With that comes the need for many stores to hire seasonal employees. "They fill in when our regular employees can't do everything." says Paula Pastuer, who owns several shops in Manitou Springs, "We have to have people to clean and to help with extra sales." "We always hire extra help during Christmas." adds Berg "We extend our hours and hire extra people." The jobs may only be temporary, but with unemployment sitting around 9.5% nationwide, competition is stiff. "Way over qualified people are just looking for anything they can get." says Pastuer. "There's a large pool to pick from and the last few years it's definitely gotten bigger." explains Berg.
Both of the store owners agree the situation helps them get great seasonal employees, but it's also a constant reminder of the shaky economic times. "It gives us a real good choice of people but sometimes you feel bad offering a 40 year old gentleman that's been an executive a job that's going to pay $8.00 an hour." says Pastuer.