Outlook for seasonal hires dims in New Jersey

The holiday shopping season is about to get in full gear with some stores starting the frenzy on Thanksgiving Day.

But the longer hours may not translate into more jobs.

Even though retail sales are predicted to increase about 3.9 percent, some companies aren’t adding a lot of seasonal workers, said John Holub, president of the New Jersey Retail Merchants Association.

“We have heard a lot of retailers have offered any extended hours to their existing employees,” Holub said. “Obviously, in this current economic environment, some employees are looking for some additional hours, and employers have been able to offer that to them first before hiring any additional workers.”

Because of the short span this year between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Holub said, many retailers are offering discounts earlier than usual. He expects special markdowns to continue during the entire holiday shopping season and to lure customers into the stores.

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