BUSINESS

Retailers plan to hire more seasonal workers this year for holiday shopping

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Retailers across the country plan to hire more seasonal workers for the coming holiday season than last year. Experts say that's a solid indicator that the economy is improving.

While consumers may not be planning for the holiday shopping season just yet, retailers are getting ready.

At least three large stores - Walmart, Kohls, and Toys R Us - say they are planning to increase their seasonal help 10-15 percent over last year.

Kohls plans to hire 52,000 seasonal workers and Walmart will add 50,000.

"If retailers are going to be hiring more people than last year its encouraging because it generally means those companies are expecting their sales to be on par or slightly higher than a year ago," says Ellen Davis of the National Retail Federation. "That's great news for the economy and its certainly great news for job seekers."

Toys R Us is hiring 45,000 seasonal workers to staff up its pop up stores and help fulfill its expanded shipping options this holiday.

That's a nearly 13 percent jump from the 40,000 seasonal workers the Wayne, N.J.-based company hired in 2011.

Toys R Us says part of the increase is to help fulfill its customer orders made with its new online shipping options, such as ordering online and picking up items in store, its free layaway program and its new toy reservation system.

Workers will also staff seasonal pop up stores. Toys R Us plans to open 150 to 200 temporary stores, similar to the number it opened last year.

Some positions could become permanent. Last year, 14 percent of holiday workers stayed on in full-time positions.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

 

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