Local businesses to increase hiring for holidays

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Vancouver stores and courier companies expect to increase holiday hiring over last year by at least 100 jobs, while statewide, retail hiring may decrease slightly, according to the Washington state Employment Security Department.

A state report Wednesday projects Washington retailers and couriers to bring on 13,500 seasonal holiday workers, slightly less than the 13,700 hired in 2012 in the three-month period ending in December.

But local companies are expected to hire between 900 and 1,000 seasonal workers, up from more than 800 last year, said Scott Bailey, regional labor economist. Bailey expects the bulk of local hiring -- nearly 400 jobs -- will be at general merchandise stores. He anticipates about 150 workers will be brought on at clothing and clothing-accessory stores, with grocery stores adding about 100. Another 200 jobs will be added at smaller specialty stores, he said, adding that he expects courier companies such as FedEx and UPS to also bring on new staff.