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More 'Help Wanted' Signs Out For The Holiday Hiring Season

CHICAGO (CBS) -- With the outlook for people to spend more this holiday season, companies are looking for lots of employees to help out.

According to Challenger, Gray and Christmas, companies hiring workers for the holidays have announced 704,000 jobs this season. That's up from the 696,000 seasonal jobs record set from 2014.

"The competition for seasonal workers is intense, especially as companies expand their compensation and benefits offerings," said Andrew Challenger, Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Recently Amazon said it would hire 100,000 seasonal workers, including 6,000 in Chicago. The company also announced it would boost its hourly wage to $15.00. Brick-and-mortar retailers like Target and JC Penney said they were giving out perks not available in previous years.

Target, while looking to hire 120,000 seasonal employees, plans to give out gift cards. JC Penney said it would have prize packages and vacations for its employees. Workers at Kohls can participate in a special shopping day complete with discounts.

The hiring surge comes during a period of the highest consumer confidence in almost 20 years.

"Clearly, retailers are expecting consumers to spend more on their family and friends this year. In order to meet this demand, especially in a period of near full employment, retailers, logistics firms, transport, and warehousing are competing for talent and upping their employee offerings this holiday season to attract potential workers," said Challenger.

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