Mawiyah Handy, an employee in the Walmart in Massapequa, helps...

Mawiyah Handy, an employee in the Walmart in Massapequa, helps prepare the store ready for the holidays on Oct. 31, 2014. Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Several major retailers, including Wal-Mart, Macy's and Kohl's, and shipping companies FedEx and UPS are hiring more seasonal workers on Long Island this holiday season than last year.

At smaller local businesses, however, some signs suggest they are cutting back on seasonal hiring.

Wal-Mart, the nation's largest private employer, plans to hire 60,000 seasonal associates nationwide, a nearly 10 percent increase over last year. It expects to hire more than 800 this year in the New York metro area.

Macy's plans to hire about 86,000 seasonal holiday workers nationwide, a 3.6 percent increase from last year. It plans to fill close to 2,000 jobs on Long Island.

Kohl's expects to hire more than 67,000 seasonal workers, a 15 percent increase compared to last year, with an average of 50 associates per store for its 13 locations on Long Island.

Nationwide, retailers are expected to hire up to 800,000 seasonal workers this holiday season, according to the National Retail Federation. Last year they hired 768,000, up 14 percent over the 2012 holiday season.

The added hiring "speaks to the economy and the holiday season that retailers are more confident this year than last year," said Jerome Ternynck, founder and CEO of SmartRecruiters, a cloud-based platform that helps companies post jobs, recruit and hire.

But Rob Basso, president of Freeport-based Advantage Payroll Services, said his retail customers, which are small businesses with fewer than 50 employees, are hiring fewer people this holiday season because they feel customer demand will not be as high as it was last year.

"They are feeling the pressure, because most purchases are going to the Web and they can't compete with the much larger organizations," Basso said.

Those retailers on Long Island that are hiring for the holidays started as early as September, picked up staffing in October and will continue through December. On average, retailers hire 11,500 seasonal employees from October to December on Long Island; then 10,500 are let go in January, according to the New York State Department of Labor.

"Retailers start hiring earlier to have enough time to find qualified persons and train them for the holiday rush," said Roosevelt Field mall marketing director Nancy Gilbert, adding that more than 60 Roosevelt Field retailers for the first time in September held a two-day job fair to fill hundreds of part-time, full-time and holiday positions.

Large retailers tout the seasonal positions as an opportunity to start a long-term career in retail, and some workers hope to be among the lucky percentage who hold onto their jobs after the holidays are over.

"To me it means opportunity," said Mawiyah Handy, 19, of Dix Hills, who graduated in July from Hunter Business School and started working as a seasonal sales associate at the Walmart in Massapequa in September. "It means a better life and a better career. When people think of retail, they don't think there is a future, but they don't realize there is a future in retail." Hiring also extends to major shippers like UPS and FedEx, which handled a large volume of online orders last year, particularly from Amazon.com. UPS will hire 95,000 seasonal workers, including 3,500 seasonal employees on Long Island, after hiring 85,000 last year. FedEx plans to hire more than 50,000 seasonal workers, 10,000 more than last year, including more than 600 in the New York metro and upstate New York regions.

Some retailers like Toys R Us will keep their holiday hiring consistent with last year's level. Toys R Us plans to more than double its workforce by hiring 45,000 seasonal employees, including more than 550 workers at its Long Island stores.

Sports Authority hired about 3,500 nationally last year and will hire about the same this year, including 200 on Long Island. Target said it will hire 70,000 seasonal workers, even with 2013.

NewsdayTV's Elisa DiStefano and Newsday food writer Marie Elena Martinez take a look at the hottest places to dine on Long Island this summer.  Credit: Randee Daddona; Newsday / A.J. Singh

A taste of summer on Long Island NewsdayTV's Elisa DiStefano and Newsday food writer Marie Elena Martinez take a look at the hottest places to dine on Long Island this summer. 

NewsdayTV's Elisa DiStefano and Newsday food writer Marie Elena Martinez take a look at the hottest places to dine on Long Island this summer.  Credit: Randee Daddona; Newsday / A.J. Singh

A taste of summer on Long Island NewsdayTV's Elisa DiStefano and Newsday food writer Marie Elena Martinez take a look at the hottest places to dine on Long Island this summer. 

Latest Videos

YOU'VE BEEN SELECTED

FOR OUR BEST OFFER ONLY 25¢ for 5 months

Unlimited Digital Access.

cancel anytime.