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Companies get creative to find seasonal workers amid labor shortage

With this tight labor market, companies are trying harder to recruit employees, especially for the holiday season.

PORTLAND, Ore. — With this tight labor market, companies are offering better pay and benefits to try to recruit seasonal employees for the holiday season. 

UPS in Portland is holding a three-day hiring event, hoping to hire 1,500 new employees. The company anticipated over the summer it would be difficult to find seasonal employees amid a labor shortage. The company said it is offering competitive wages, flexible schedules and programs that help pay college tuition to attract new candidates. 

"We're pretty aggressive with our planning when it comes to peak season anyways," said Alecia Todd with UPS. "We like to prepare for anything."

Keaton Miller, an assistant professor of economics at the University of Oregon, said there's still relatively low labor force participation in Oregon.

"It's only about 62%, and a few years ago it was as high as 66%," Miller said. 

RELATED: Oregon unemployment rate falls but hiring struggles remain

Miller said that 4% difference means up to 100,000 people are still out of work in Oregon. He said this could be an issue for shipping companies searching for seasonal workers. 

"If they can't find the number of workers that they need, if they can't get those positions filled, there will be delays," Miller said.

Xzayvier Washington attended the job fair, trying to find a job. He got laid off from his job at 24-Hour Fitness during the pandemic. Knowing the current labor market is in his favor, he decided to attend the UPS hiring event to get a job as a driver helper.

"It's really just a combination of high pay and benefits," Washington said. "Benefits are really important because a lot of people go from job to job, and it's really important to stick to that job for the benefits."

RELATED: No, wages have not grown more than inflation since last Thanksgiving

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