Early projections are that this could be the best holiday hiring season in five years. According to ABC News, Americans are expected to spend $40 more this holiday season and this is prompting companies to hire hundreds to thousands more workers to help.
In east Mississippi there is also expected to be an increase in the demand for workers during the holidays.
'We're doing pretty good. It's not as bad as others think,' said Nellie Satcher, director of the Meridian WIN Job Center. 'It has been increasing steadily. There hasn't been a large decrease in this area. So, I can honestly say that we're doing pretty good.'
As we prepare to enter the holiday season, Satcher says early indications are that this trend will continue. For the last three years, she says the number of holiday jobs in Meridian has steadily increased. In 2009 there were about 170 more holiday jobs than the year prior. Since then, the increase has continued.
'Last year even we had around an increase of 197 in jobs for this area. So, we're looking to see an increase for even more than that for this coming year,' Satcher said.
Early indications are that the jobs that will become available during the holiday season will not just be in retail. Already there's a continued increase in the number of openings in the construction, corrections and medical fields.
'Anything in the medical fields they're trying to really find people and they hire those all the time,' says Satcher.
The most recent numbers show that Lauderdale County's unemployment rate has dropped from more than 10% to 8.7%. As many continue to seek work, WIN officials have advice for those who are choosing a career.
'Look to see what the need is. You know, there are different sites that you can go to out there where you can go to check and see what the needs for different areas are,' said Satcher. 'And I would definitely check that before pursuing any type of career.'
Nationwide this year, as many as 700,000 seasonal jobs are expected to be up for grabs.