If all you want for Christmas is a temporary job in retail, get in line now.

Once the work of college students on break or as a way to make a few extra bucks while getting the coveted employee discount, snagging a temporary job at Christmas will mean a lot to a lot more people with the recession continuing.

With more unemployed and underemployed people looking even low paying jobs, the competition for seasonal jobs for the holidays is going to be tough this year. A 25% discount on merchandise, which Pier 1 is offering its seasonal associates, adds to the need for a seasonal job to help pay some Christmas bills.

Such applicants are increasing at 62% of retailers this year, but 40% are hiring fewer seasonal workers, according to a survey cited by CNNMoney.com.

Such hiring is normally done in early October, but there may be a hiring surge later as stores wait to see if shoppers will return this season, according to a Washington Times story.

But that isn't the case at a San Diego Target store, where hundreds of applicants lined up Monday morning for seasonal jobs. Macy's is having holiday hiring open houses across the country. Toys R Us plans to hire 35,000 seasonal workers in existing stores or for one of its 350 temporary stores.

Few of these temporary jobs are expected to lead to permanent work. That's the downside of such seasonal work. You're making money, even if only $8 to $12 per hour, and then you're out of work after the Christmas rush. Be sure to use the employee discount for all you can.

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