LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — With the national unemployment rate at a 49-year low, JCPenney is sweetening the deal in its push to hire thousands of seasonal workers for the holidays.

The unemployment rate is now at 3.7 percent, the lowest rate since December 1969, when the jobless rate was 3.6 percent. While that could mean higher wages for workers, that means a smaller labor pool for retailers like JCPenney and UPS, who are both ramping up their holiday hiring.

For the first time this year, JCPenney is introducing reward packages such as a $5,000 trip to Canada, New York City and Miami that will be awarded in a random drawing and $5,000 themed prize packages with themes such as outdoor, technology and glamour. The prizes will be available to all hourly associates and seasonal associates throughout JCPenney who stay with the company through Dec. 29.

The retailer is looking to fill 4,800 seasonal positions across California during its hiring event on Oct. 16 from 2 to 8 p.m. Applicants can also apply online at jcpcareers.com.

UPS, meanwhile, wants to hire 100,000 seasonal employees – primarily package handlers, drivers and driver-helpers – in advance of increased shipping they expect to start in November and last through January — 12,000 of those employees for 26 Southern California facilities. To apply with UPS, go to UPSjobs.com.

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