Home Depot’s hiring initiative doesn’t mean much to Alaska

Juneau's Home Depot is looking to hire 45 seasonal employees for the spring. (Photo by Casey Kelly/KTOO)

Juneau’s Home Depot is looking to hire 45 seasonal employees for the spring. (Photo by Casey Kelly/KTOO)

The Home Depot is touting a nationwide initiative seeking 80,000 “new hires” this spring and summer, including 270 in Alaska — but that’s nothing new.

The home improvement retailer is looking to hire 45 seasonal employees in Juneau, 45 in Fairbanks, and 180 in Anchorage.

State research economist Alyssa Shanks with the Department of Labor says these numbers won’t account for a boost in employment numbers. 

When we look at it on an annual basis and we compare it to the rest of our employment numbers, we probably won’t see too much of an impact, just because relative to employment in those areas, it’s a fairly small number of jobs,” Shanks says.

In 2012, employment in the retail sector in Alaska increased by about 2,000 jobs in the spring and summer months compared to the rest of the year. Home Depot’s 270 seasonal hires account for roughly 14 percent of that increase.

From an employee’s perspective, Shanks says this is still good news.

Those are a handful of jobs at least in Juneau and in Fairbanks and in Anchorage, compared to the size, that could help a lot of people if they don’t have a job right now and are looking for additional work, so despite the fact that it’s seasonal and, relatively speaking, it’s not a lot of jobs, it could really be helpful to some people,” Shanks says.

Juneau Home Depot store manager Tom Hart says a seasonal job from May to September could turn into a year-round position.

“The best associates that are certainly passionate about customer service, we’re going to try to keep them on board and transition into full-time associates.”

Hart says the store hopes to hire locally. Positions at Juneau’s Home Depot include cashier, freight and customer service associates.