MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — New numbers show the state’s unemployment numbers are below 4 percent, suggesting it’s a great state to find work in. And this holiday season is offering many opportunities.

You could call it a side gig for accounting specialist Brett Gulden. He’s a seasonal worker at B&J Farms’ pop-up tree yard at Knollwood shopping center in St. Louis Park.

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“It’s not gonna get rich doing it, it’s nice money, pays the gas bills and stuff like that so yeah and it’s nice to help,” Gulden said.

High school student Peter Guchikob works there, too, and says it “fits in the schedule” for him.

“This time of year we can pretty much use all hands on deck,” Trent Johnson, the owner of the business, said.

Assembling his crew, however, has been a bit tougher lately. A simple drive around the metro shows the possibilities seem endless if you’re searching for a job. If you’re searching for employees, however, the competition’s thick.

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“The past 4 or 5 years it’s been easy to get people and we’ve hired some really outstanding people the past couple of years. Now, it’s becoming a lot harder,” Johnson said. “I can definitely feel it’s tightening up and the labor isn’t out there as much.”

That may be because employment rates are so high in the area and fewer people are looking. But he was eventually able to make it work.

“Absolutely, there’s always a way, Christmas, we gotta make happen here,” Johnson said.

As far as employees go, his lot is just about full, but we found out several places are still hiring.

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Kohl’s alone is hiring over 70,000 seasonal workers. Others hiring includes Target, Victoria Secret Stores at Mall of America, Chipotle in St. Louis Park, Cheesecake Factory at Southdale and UPS is looking for drivers all over the metro.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield