Unemployment rate, new card security features may lead to longer lines for holiday shoppers in Utah

Posted at 10:04 PM, Nov 26, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-27 00:04:33-05

SALT LAKE - You may have shopped on Black Friday before, but you probably haven't had to stand in checkout lines for this long. The two main reasons for the difference in times are tied to unemployment rates and new credit card features.

Over the past two years, unemployment rates in Utah have dropped under four percent, placing Utah in the top 5 states for unemployment. As a result, it's harder to find good employees, especially during the holidays.

"We are looking for seasonal employees through December," said Marc Hoelzle, an executive team member at a Salt Lake City area Target. "We hire about 107 for the store, and we have 20 more to go."

The other reason lines may be longer could be because of the new security chip found in some credit cards. The added security feature has become more mainstream in the last past few months, and customers have noticed it slows lines down, more so than usual.

"I didn't use it in here, but, yeah, it takes forever for it to process," said one customer outside a Wal-Mart.

"You got to wait for it to load, I hate it," said another customer.

That being said, some Utah stores remained relatively quiet, with checkout lines moving quickly.

"We've had time to get our systems ready for those cards," Hoelzle said.