The surge in holiday sales leads businesses to hire hundreds of thousands of temporary workers every year. Over the past decade, that number experienced a hefty dip: bottoming out during the recession and growing to a 12-year high last year with 751,800 jobs, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. Hiring this year reveals interesting patterns retailers are following.

For one, the holiday season continues to begin earlier, meaning employees are starting sooner than they did in previous years. The Telegraph reported that some stores began hiring in September. The rest are starting in October so their workers can begin in November. But despite a longer season, pundits are anticipating fewer hires this season.

"While the economy and job market are improving, it has now been four years since the recession officially ended and millions of Americans are still unemployed or underemployed," said John Challenger, CEO of the firm who conducted the research. "Many economists are predicting sluggish holiday sales." Challenger continues to explain that the outcome of the government shutdown will impact holiday sales. If anxiety over budget talks continues into the holidays, consumer confidence could continue to dip.

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