Best Buy hiring thousands for upcoming holiday season amid pandemic

Finding a job these days is a job itself.

New numbers from the Labor Department show just how bleak the job market is right now, which is why Best Buy is getting swamped on the first day of its holiday season job fair.

Gabriela Rastelli, 20, was driving by the Best Buy at the North Riverside Mall when she saw the sign.

“I used to nanny like almost every day and obviously I’m not doing that anymore because nobody’s leaving the house. And I am a commuter student so I sit at home and have nothing to do, so any opportunity I’m like I should try it,” she said.

Best Buy is looking to hire thousands of people nationwide for the upcoming holiday season at a time when jobs are scarce.

“It’s been pretty rough. Like the competition for work has been pretty stiff. There’s not many opportunities out there,” said Patrick Janis.

“And all my friends too, none of them can find a job because no one’s hiring. It’s definitely super difficult,” Rastelli said.

On Thursday, the Labor Department reported 870,000 Americans filed for unemployment for the first time last week, which is a number that has remained stubbornly high throughout the pandemic.

“Normally at this point in September we see retailers in full hiring mode,” said employment expert Andy Challenger.

But that’s not happening this year, Challenger said, because companies remain uncertain about the economy and whether Congress will pass another round of stimulus.

“They’re slower in the process because they’re waiting to see if consumer spending is going to remain at high levels, if people are gonna feel comfortable coming into stores this holiday season,” Challenger said.

The Best Buy job fair will continue Friday between noon and 7 p.m., and again on October 3rd and 4th with jobs starting at $15 an hour.