If you’ve set foot inside a mall, shopped online, bought a Christmas tree or otherwise flexed your purchasing power this holiday season, chances are good that you’ve been helped in some way by a seasonal worker.
All sorts of businesses, from big box stores to online retailers to mom-and-pop boutiques, beef up their workforces at the end of the year to meet the holiday rush for products. This year, stores and distribution centers were expected to add 665,800 workers overall, according to a report from the consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
These jobs represent a huge chunk of end-of-year employment. But who’s working them in and around L.A, and why?
To be sure, the seasonal workforce is vastly diverse. So instead of setting about to answer the question in a sweeping way, KCRW zoomed in and profiled three seasonal workers in the region.
I interviewed a warehouse worker in the Inland Empire, a Christmas tree lot hand in Hollywood and a retail representative in Santa Monica. The result is this trio of snapshots of the people driving our local seasonal economy:
Karina Angeles, 23, works at the Amazon distribution center in San Bernardino. The recent college graduated majored in sociology, but hasn’t been able to find a job in her field:
Donald Everett, 58, works at a Christmas tree lot in Hollywood. He’s saving up for his recovery after he gets his knee replaced:
Eve Naffziger, 26, is a freelance graphic designer who took a job at Lush Cosmetics in Santa Monica to get through a holiday slump: