KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The national unemployment rate has dipped to the lowest rate since the recession started, but many are still looking for work.
Now, large and small home improvement stores are embarking on a seasonal hiring blitz across the nation and in East Tennessee.
As the mild winter wanes, home improvement stores start their busiest time of the year. Mayo Garden Center is looking to hire around 15-20 people in its three locations, starting in the spring.
The store hired 30 temporary employees around Christmas time.
"We'll be hiring temporary employees, and they will be helping us with our bedding, landscaping, water and refreshing them, as well as hiring loaders and some sales people," said Erin Cox, with Mayo Garden Center.
The Lowe's chain is looking to hire 40,000 nationwide and between 400-500 in three stores in East Tennessee.
Home Depot is on a hiring blitz as well, to hire 70,000 nation wide part-time workers. The chain says it expects to hire around 250 people throughout East Tennessee.
The store is hiring help in home and garden along with freight handlers and cashiers.
"We see a lot more applicants this year early on and a lot more phone calls, a lot of people coming in, wanting to give resumes and wanting to know when the hiring starts," said Nancy Brannon, general manager of Home Depot on Centerline Drive in Knoxville.
Home Depot says it still gets a growing number of job applicants each year. "Unfortunately with the companies shutting down, we've had a lot more applicants," Brannon said.
The different stores say the temporary employment will last about four months.
Mayo Garden Center and Home Depot say they plan to keep some employees permanently.
The Centerline Drive Home Depot says last year it kept about 25% of its seasonal hires.
"They're wanting to put down their roots and make a career. It's not just a part-time seasonal thing for them. Most people are wanting a career," Brannon said.
Mayo Garden Center says its hiring will start in March. Lowe's and Home Depot are already beginning to hire seasonal workers.