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Holiday hiring surge heats up on the High Desert


It’s the time of year when seasonal hiring ramps up, and many Central Oregon businesses have goals in mind.

UPS is looking to hire 95,000 people nationwide this holiday season, including 2,000 in Oregon and 144 at its Bend facility.

Though the goal is not specifically to hire permanent workers, many temporary workers do stay on after the holidays.

“About 35 percent, over the last few years, of people who’ve come to work for UPS as seasonal temporary employees have actually picked up permanent positions after the holidays,” UPS representative Matt O’Connor said Wednesday.

UPS is projecting to carry out 750 million deliveries this holiday season, up 5 percent from last year, as online shopping continues to rise.

The hiring goal has stayed the same over the last few years, though, because the company has invested more in its network.

Clothing stores that specialize in winter gear, like REI and Columbia, said they also see a surge in new hires this time of year.

But the bulk of new employees at Pine Mountain Sports in Bend are hired earlier in the year, many of whom stay on through the winter season.

“We definitely do a little more business during summertime, so for the most part, we’ll take our full-time seasonal hires and run them all the way into winter,” owner Dan McGarigle said. “We don’t really do a lot of hiring for winter-specific business, but we usually hold onto our staff in the summer, and those folks will transfer into full-time for us come fall.”​

The summer, McGarigle said, is just more consistent than winter, meaning he needs more help for what ends up being a busier time of year.

“It’s more consistent for us, whereas winter we really get those big pushes during holiday, during winter breaks and things like that,” he said. “So we really don’t need to hire so much full-time for winter as much as we retain staff from summer.”

McGarigle, as well as representatives for REI and Columbia, said they anticipate this year to be busier than last, because of how very cold and snowy last winter was in Central Oregon.

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