Stores gearing up for holidays

Companies have already started the hiring process to help handle the holidays

NEW YORK (CNN) – October may seem too early to think about the holidays, but Americans hoping to bring in some extra cash, should act quickly.

Fall has just arrived, but to retailers, it’s already looking a lot like Christmas. Companies have already started the hiring process to help handle the holiday rush, and job seekers should act sooner, rather than later.

The outlook for holiday hiring is relatively bright. An annual survey by Challenger, Gray and Christmas finds this year’s seasonal employment will top 2013 levels potentially adding 800,000 workers to payrolls, possibly the best in 15 years. Compare that to the worst holiday hiring year on record, the height of the recession in 2008, with fewer than 325,000 jobs.

Hiring plans announced by many of the nation’s major retailers back up the optimistic forecast:

– Walmart says it will add 60,000 workers for the holiday season, an increase of nearly ten percent over last year.

– Kohl’s says it will add 67,000 employees, about 50 associates per store, and more than 9,000 across its distribution centers and credit operations.

– Macy’s said it plans to hire about 86,000 seasonal employees across Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores, call centers, and facilities. It’s an increase of about 3.6 percent.

Holiday jobs aren’t only in store, especially with more consumers shopping online:

– UPS says it plans to nearly double its hiring for this year’s holiday delivery surge to 95,000 employees.

– Fed-Ex will boost its holiday hiring by 10,000 positions to 50,000 this year..

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