This holiday season may end up being jolly for some job-hunters, thanks to UPS' (UPS) plan to almost double its seasonal hiring to as many as 95,000 workers.
The hiring surge may also indicate that UPS is expecting a healthy shopping season, at least when it comes to e-commerce. It's also likely to allay some concerns of retailers and consumers alike, following last year's debacle when the delivery service misjudged demand and ended up delivering some packages late.
"We have initial volume forecasts from our customers and are starting the hiring process for our temporary peak season jobs," John McDevitt, UPS senior vice president of human resources and labor relations, said in a statement.
The company expects to hire between 90,000 to 95,000 seasonal workers, with many of those temporary workers having the opportunity to become full-time employees, UPS said. Wages for the seasonal jobs start at $10 an hour, and the jobs range from package sorters to drivers.
The hiring represents nearly double the number of seasonal workers tapped by UPS last year, when it added 55,000 temporary workers. While that might seem like plenty, its 2013 holiday staffing fell short of customer demands, thanks partly to a surge in online orders.
The boost is a result of ensuring the delivery company is fully prepared this year, Lytana Kids, vice president of UPS' workforce planning, told CBS MoneyWatch.
"We have been preparing all year to make sure we have the staffing we need," she said.
Another change is in the works for UPS employees, she noted. The company has traditionally given the day after Thanksgiving, a popular shopping day known as Black Friday, as a holiday, but now it will be a workday.
This holiday season is expected to witness even stronger demand for Internet shopping. Consumers will spend about $72.4 billion through e-commerce sites this holiday season, or a 16.6 percent jump from 2013, eMarketer predicts. The research firm expects overall retail sales to rise 5 percent to $862.5 billion.
Since last year's snafus, UPS has changed some processes, such as adding operating days and shifts and installing temporarily mobile sorting and delivery centers. It's also added thousands of new and leased delivery vehicles, including trucks and aircraft.
The temporary workers will support the company's existing 333,000 U.S. workers from October through January 2015, the company said. Job seekers can apply for seasonal positions at UPSjobs.com.