Sixty-three percent of hiring managers plan to hire for holiday employment, which is the highest level in five years and a jump from 51 percent in 2011, according to a survey commissioned by Snagajob, an hourly employment network.

Respondents say they plan to hire an average of 6.1 seasonal workers, on average, an increase from last year's 4.1 workers and 2009's 3.1 workers. Among respondents who anticipate improved fourth-quarter sales from 2011, there is a net score of plus 20 for an expected sales increase, the survey finds, while 2011's positive sales only hit a plus seven margin.

"For the past few seasons, we've had to talk about 'incremental improvements' being expected in holiday hiring," says Jason Hamilton, vice president of marketing for Snagajob. "But this year, there are strong indications that there should be substantial movement in getting us back to the kinds of holiday hiring levels we were accustomed to prior to the recession. Doing the math, our survey shows that 24 percent more hiring managers are hiring this season, and hiring managers, on average, are planning to hire about 50 percent more people. Those indicators taken together point to a vastly improved seasonal job market."

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