DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — As holiday hiring kicks off, retailers are gearing up for what’s expected to be a busy holiday shopping season with thousands of jobs across the Miami Valley.

Jeff Haymond, professor of economics at Cedarville University said, “We’re down over 4 million jobs from prior to the pandemic.”

Because of the labor shortage, Haymond said seasonal job seekers have the upper hand. “Anybody who wants a job can get a job at a pretty good wage. It seems like the new minimum wage is at least $13-$13.50 an hour,” he said.

If you’re looking for a job for the 2021 holiday season, he said you should consider more than just the hourly wage. “They can look around. It’s quite public what some of the pressures are for wages. What they should do though is, given the competitive landscape for workers, they should be looking for where they want to be long-term,” said Haymond.

He said it’s best to look for opportunities that lead to full-time positions with good benefits.

“For instance, educational benefits, and all of those other services they should be thinking about. Do any of these firms have more flexible working conditions? Whatever the issues and margins that the workers care about are, now is the time to bake it in,” he said.