SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The holiday season is approaching fast, and retailers around southwest Missouri are rushing to hire staff to handle the onslaught of customers.

Several businesses are hosting hiring events to bring in more employees. Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s alone are hiring 3,500 people, with many of those positions right here in Springfield.

Bass Pro Shops is hiring for part-time and full-time positions. On-site interviews were held yesterday and will continue through today. The open interviews will last from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

According to the Missouri Job Center, one of the reasons that retailers are starting earlier than usual is because they expect customers to come out earlier due to rising costs and inflation, rather than wait until the last minute and take on the whole cost all at once. A specific problem for Springfield and Missouri is that the unemployment rate is already low compared to the national average, which can make it more difficult to find extra workers.

“Between here, the base camp, our corporate offices and the distribution center is hundreds of positions that are open,” said Peter Rogers, the Bass Pro Shops Springfield manager. “There’s just a lot of places that we’re looking for great help.”

Rogers said that next month, his store is going to add seasonal positions for its Santa Wonderland and other holiday-focused attractions.