One Wichita Falls department store has already announced its plans to hire more seasonal workers this year.
And employment experts say they expect that news to give the area's unemployed hope for the holidays.
Kohl's department store recently announced some promising news that could make the holidays merry and bright for some.
The store plans to hire more than 52,000 associates nationwide.
That equates to about 41 workers per store, which is 4% more seasonal employees over last Christmas.
"Last year, was kind of slow. The economy.... most employers and retailers locally didn't have that many seasonal employees brought on so hopefully Kohl's is a sign of maybe better things this year and we'll see a few more people employed," says Bill Scantlin with Workforce Solutions of North Texas.
Workforce Solutions officials say they typically get word of seasonal hirings at businesses around mid-October.
So Kohl's announcement is coming early but officials at other businesses, like Target, are not far behind.
"We get a lot of freight in for the holidays and start loading up the sales floor. Our first phase, we hire a lot of people for that Numbers wise? Probably in the 25 to 30 range over the whole holiday," says Target Team Leader Kerry Beaver.
While those and future holiday jobs are expected to help lower the Wichita Falls area unemployment rate, which now stands at about 7,500 people, Workforce Solutions officials say that number doesn't include those who are unemployment insurance has run out, folks who quit their jobs or were fired and many more.
"It doesn't count the high school & college grads from May/June who are now trying to enter the job market. Doesn't count all those vets who are now coming back from Afghanistan and Iraq looking for work....so, the number typically... instead of about 7,000 or 7,500 it's probably in the neighborhood of 20,000 people in our area looking for work," explains Scantlin.
Again, Workforce Solutions will have a better picture of how many seasonal jobs will be available later next month.
And we're told many part time workers do become full time employees after the holiday season.
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