Andrea Kay, Gannett (USA TODAY) -- This news should snap you out of your government-shutdown blues and frustration with Washington:
Nearly 40% of retailers say they will beef up hiring for the holidays. That's up from 36% last year at this time and 29% in 2011, according to CareerBuilder's annual survey conducted by Harris Interactive.
This includes high-end retailers like Macy's, which is expected to hire 83,000 for its stores, call centers, distribution centers and online fulfillment centers, and Wal-Mart, which says it will hire 55,000 seasonal workers.
Don't despair if retail is not your thing but short-term work is.
Other types of corporate settings have opportunities as companies wrap up the year and need extra hands to help them handle everything from customer service, sales and marketing to shipping and delivery, inventory management, clerical work, and accounting and finance.
Where are these employers? They're in information technology, leisure and hospitality, and financial services. And just as hiring goes the other nine months of the year, they like to hire people they know.
So the majority will re-hire some folks they've hired before.
But they also like to recruit: 45% tend to target college students. More than 50% will seek out retirees and experienced workers who are not retired.
Now is the time to apply since most companies won't be accepting applications after October.
Also, think about who else needs help as we enter the holiday season and what kinds of jobs that could mean. Some include jobs for recruiters who would look for people to fill seasonal jobs, people with the skills to help companies design window displays and decorations, people to put up and take down decorations, and operational and customer service representatives at companies that fulfill seasonal requests.
Another ray of sunshine comes from a different CareerBuilder survey that found that "middle-skill" or "middle-wage" jobs in the United States are thriving - at least in some fields and geographic areas.
This is particularly heartening news since Federal Reserve research shows that the share of these jobs had dropped from 25% in 1985 to just above 15% today. Factors such as automation and companies moving positions out of the country are to blame.
For the purpose of this study, which was done with Economic Modeling Specialists, middle-wage jobs are defined as those paying $13.84 to $21.13 an hour.
Even though more high-wage and low-wage jobs are available overall, some areas of manufacturing, health care and energy have middle-wage jobs that are stable and growing.
These positions include the following:
• Customer service representatives, up 6%.
• Tractor-trailer truck drivers, up 7%.
• Bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks, up 4%.
• Machinists, up 14%.
• Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers and weighers - they review raw materials and assembled parts and products - up 8%.
• Welders, cutters, solderers and brazers - workers who join metal parts - up 11%.
• Computer-controlled machine-tool operators, up 17%.
• Oil, gas and mining service unit operators, up 38%.
Wyoming has had the highest percentage of these jobs added since the recession; 45% of new jobs created in the state since 2010 have been middle-wage.
Most of this work requires experience or certificates and degrees that are offered at community colleges. Some employers give on-the-job training.
Looking further at the bright side, remember that you can start out part time or doing work you hadn't planned. But your position always can turn into more if you prove to be invaluable.
Who knows, maybe you'll start out doing one kind of work and discover you like the company enough to see where else things might go.