Image: J.C. Penney store
J.C. Penney Co. is listing 7,800 positions throughout the country for holiday help.
updated 11/14/2011 7:24:50 AM ET 2011-11-14T12:24:50

The holidays are shining a ray of light onto the grim U.S. employment picture. Companies like Best Buy, J.C. Penney, Sears and Toys R Us currently have thousands of jobs open for seasonal employees.

According to a survey of 2,700 hiring managers and human resources pro’s, 30 percent of retailers are planning to hire extra seasonal help this year and employers across the board expect their holiday hiring to be roughly the same as last year. In addition, the pay for these workers is rising, and a third of employers surveyed said they plan to keep some of their seasonal workers on staff permanently after the holidays. The online survey was conducted from Aug. 16 through Sept. 8, by Harris Interactive for jobs website CareerBuilder.

More than half of employers, 53 percent, said they will pay $10 or more per hour, up from 48 percent last year. Fourteen percent plan to pay $16 or more, up from 9 percent last year. slideshow: Who’s hiring the most this holiday season

Though many employers have already hired a share of their holiday employees, 33 percent reported that they would still be recruiting seasonal hires in November.

We asked job aggregator, a Google-like search engine that pulls together listings from company websites and online job boards, to compile a list of companies with the most listings for holiday jobs right now, at big companies that have 2,500 or more employees.

Because some employers have already filled holiday positions, and others haven’t yet determined how many workers they will hire, the numbers are not exact. Also, retail employers like Target and Macy’s often list a single job, like cashier or sales associate, when they mean to hire multiple employees for those positions. But the Indeed list gives a rough gauge of where the jobs are.

Big retailers take nine out of the ten slots on the list of employers hiring the most holiday workers. Shipper UPS is also in the top 10, with 4,000 job listings. Who’s getting hired right now The best and worst cities for jobs right now The most underrated jobs The best-paying work-at-home jobs the cities with the happiest young professionals

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