NEW YORK (AP) - The holiday hiring picture looks a bit merrier this year.
Macy's, Toys R Us, Pier 1 and Borders all plan to hire more temporary holiday workers this year than last, emboldened by several months of sales gains and a slowly improving economy.
The jobs probably won't be enough to be a dent in the nation's nearly 10 percent unemployment rate, but for Americans desperate for some work, they're far more than an early Christmas present.
Retailers overall will add between 550,000 and 650,000 jobs this holiday season, according to a forecast from the national outsourcing firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas.
The firm expects hiring to increase over the 501,400 temporary jobs retailers added last year between October and December.