TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – The unofficial opening of the furniture market is less than a day away and Bobby Owens is hard at work. Each market he has found temporary work helping in the showroom of Belmont based M and W Sales and Jamco Furniture.
“It helps me pay my bills and stuff like that, what I need to do,” Owens said.
Erick McDowell says he relies on temporary workers like Owens to help get everything set up, and taken down once the market is over.
“They’re wanting to work, they’re begging you to work and I had to tell a certain amount yesterday that , hey guys, this is all we can use,” McDowell said.
McDowell typically hires about 4 temporary workers each market. Missouri based Indigo Furniture has hired temp workers all seven years they’ve had a presence at the market.
“We’re very happy with the labor pool, they are workers who are ready to work, able to do the job and we are extremely happy to be able to add to the labor industry here in Tupelo,” said David Keller of Indigo Imports.
Keller hires six workers each market just for set up and tear down, plus he hires two sales professionals who help with accounts once the market opens. Freelance workers get to the complex early, and see who needs help.
“You just ask, if you need any help, might say yes, might say no, but they pay you good. Might do 30 minutes worth of work and make 30 or 40 dollars,” said Charles Burns, a temporary worker at the market.
Many temporary workers have full time jobs, and take a few days off to work the event. Others are unemployed and the market helps make ends meet. Either way, the Tupelo Furniture Market provides opportunities for a large number of freelancers who aren’t afraid of hard work.