Spending More During the Holidays? Consider Working These 4 Side Hustles

HAGERSTOWN, MD, USA - MAY 5, 2017: Image of an Amazon packages.
Julie Clopper / Getty Images

A whole lot of money changes hands during the holiday season, and if you’re looking to take on a winter side gig, you can bring some of that money home with you to start 2023 off on the right foot. But don’t expect a repeat of the easy employment pickings that defined the seasonal labor market during the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021.

According to TechWire, CNN and many other outlets that track the industry, employers are pulling back on the normal rush of seasonal hiring. The traditional September uptick never materialized, and many major corporations are taking a wait-and-see attitude while keeping flat with last year’s holiday hiring numbers (or even pulling back). 

Experts cite a slowing global economy, recession fears and diminished household buying power brought on by inflation as the main culprits. But if you’re looking to pick up shifts in a store, in a truck, in a warehouse, or even at home — don’t panic. There are still plenty of opportunities heading into the holiday season.

Sign on With the Amazon Holiday Machine

You already buy everything from Amazon. Why not let the money change directions and flow to you for once by joining Bezos and company for the holidays? In early October, Amazon put out the call for 150,000 seasonal jobs to prepare for the peak season. This year, the average pay is $19 an hour, “based on position and geography,” according to an Oct. 6 update to Amazon’s career page.

Make Your Money Work Better for You

If you’re looking to turn that side hustle into an all-the-time thing, Amazon stresses that many part-time seasonal hires will have the opportunity to stay on full-time if they choose. One of the most important perks is flexible scheduling, which keeps many Amazon seasonal workers returning year after year. Positions are open company-wide, including in shipping, packing, stowing, and picking.

Join UPS’ Army of Seasonal Recruits

Shipping giant FedEx is one of the companies that typically goes on a seasonal hiring bonanza this time of year, but they’re cutting back in 2022. The same cannot be said for its rival UPS.

In early September, UPS announced that it was looking to fill 100,000 seasonal positions — and if you’re hoping to parlay holiday work into a new career, UPS says that one in three seasonal hires from last year earned permanent positions. Candidates can complete an application and even get a job offer in 25 minutes, and 80% of all positions don’t require an interview. 

It’s hiring seasonal delivery and CDL drivers, package handlers, driver helpers, warehouse workers, personal vehicle drivers and more. Pay varies, but UPS says the average delivery driver earns $95,000-$112,000 for tractor-trailer drivers — plus $50,000 in health, pension and welfare contributions.

Remember, Tis the Season of Retail

Walmart, still the biggest name in retail, is adding 40,000 workers this holiday season with competitive pay and good benefits — the average wage is $17 an hour. While Walmart is the world’s biggest retailer, it’s not the only one. Many of Walmart’s competitors are, once again, opening the books for traditional seasonal workers.

  • Target is hiring 100,000 workers to meet the holiday surge, about the same as last year. Pay starts at $15 an hour, more in some locations, and the retailer offers 10%-20% employee discounts and flexible scheduling.
  • Kohl’s filled roughly 90,000 seasonal positions in 2020 and 2021. While the company hasn’t cited exact numbers this year, it’s looking to hire “thousands of associates” for its store and distribution teams. It’s hosting major hiring events in early November and candidates can also apply online. Wages vary, but employees get paid every week, get a 15%-35% employee discount, and if they work at least 30 hours a week, they’re entitled to full benefits.
  • Macy’s is hiring 41,000 workers for the 2022 season, down from about 76,000 last year. The company reported that in 2021, about 10,300 seasonal workers became full-time employees.
  • The Gap offers competitive pay and flexible schedules for the tens of thousands of seasonal workers that it’s hiring right now. Aside from wages, new hires enjoy a generous 50% off family brands at Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, and Athleta.
Make Your Money Work Better for You

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Jake Arky contributed to the reporting for this article.


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