Several retailers plan to hire more seasonal staffers than last year in preparation for an incoming flurry of holiday shoppers and expected increase in sales, according to merchants and at least two reports out this month from consulting groups.

While only a handful of retailers have announced specific holiday hiring plans, 36% plan to hire more seasonal employees than in 2011, shows a survey of 14 major U.S. retailers by consulting firm Hay Group; 57% will hire about the same as last year.

Walmart, Toys R Us and Kohl's are all hiring more holiday workers than last year. The overall increase in hiring is most likely due to a predicted increase in sales.

Kohl's will hire more than 52,000 seasonal workers, up more than 10% from last year. Toys R Us will hire 45,000 holiday employees, up about 5,000 from last year.

But seasonal employment is still below prerecession levels. Still, the hiring rise shows the "low but steady growth" in the economy since the recession ended.

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