Each year the nation's retailers hang out the "Help Wanted" sign in anticipation of a pick up in sales driven by holiday purchases. Despite the languid recovery, this year is no exception.
In October, considered the first month for holiday hiring, retailers added 141,500 jobs -- nearly on par with the number gained last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The level of hiring in October, this year and last, represents substantial improvement compared to previous Octobers. In 2009, retailers added just 45,100 jobs, while in 2008 -- the worst holiday-hiring season in 22 years -- companies hired a mere 38,600 seasonal workers, notes employment-services firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.