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Economists expecting higher holiday hiring numbers

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Posted at 10:02 PM, Nov 26, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-27 00:02:55-05

SALT LAKE CITY - If you are looking for extra money during the holidays, you don't even have to wait for a real person to tell you they're hiring.

Target's automated phone system tells you even before it tells you how to reach the pharmacy.

"We're now hiring. Stay on the line to speak to one of our team members for more details," says a soothing female computer voice.

Utah retailers, shippers and other employers are hiring more seasonal employees than at any time since the beginning of the Great Recession.

"On average every year we get about 7,000 to 8,000 more workers going into the retail trade sector from September to December," said Mark Knold, supervising economist for the Utah Department of Workforce Services.

In 2008, when the financial sector was in crisis, retailers in Utah only hired 3,000 workers.

2014 hiring numbers are in line with consumer confidence numbers as measured by the Zion's Bank Consumer Confidence Index.

"We have one of the highest consumer confidence levels in the entire United States," said Randy Shumway, C.O.O of the Cicero Group, which compiles data for the index.