"We still haven't hired up to where we need to be, and the time has come to make some differences in getting people in here," says the store's general manager Joe Meny.
The Museum is looking for only a dozen holiday helpers but a job fair last month didn't produce enough candidates. Now, the store is planning another fair and, for the first time, it's offering an incentive to any museum staffer who recruits a new worker.
"If we hire them and they're on board for 90 days and if they re an employee in good standing we'll give that museum employee $75, the one that referred the candidate," Meny says.
In New York and other communities, a booming economy and a surge in store openings has left even the Salvation Army scrambling to find enough bell-ringers. With unemployment nationwide at just 4.2-percent, the holiday hiring crunch is a nationwide problem.
"The low unemployment rate is actually a double-edged sword for retailers," says Bruce van Kleeck of The National Retailers Federation. "It is driving consumer confidence and building high demand for retail business, however, it's also creating a challenge for retailers to hire the numbers of individuals they need for this year."
In San Bernardino County, California, old-timers say the unemployment rate is the lowest it's been in 35 years. That's why county officials have set up tables at the Montclair Plaza Mall to help match prospective workers with prospective employers.
But retailers seem to be offering everything except what workers really want: significantly higher wages. For once, job seekers sense they are in the catbird seat. "There just seem to be too many and I don't know which to pick, so I'm just going through to see which is best," says one job hunter. It's a common theme.
Retailers traditionally count on the Christmas season to bring in some 20-percent of their yearly sales. That's why having enough, good sales people is so crucial.