MIAMI (CBS4) – As the holiday shopping season kicks into gear, major retail outlets are beefing up their staff to handle all the extra business.

Last month retailers added about 151,000 temporary hires.

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That number is three times the amount they hired a year ago. Most of the new hires hope a little extra elbow grease will help turn their temporary job into a permanent one.

That’s what happened to Jose Cossio when he was hired just before the holidays at Best Buy in Doral last year.

“I’m very grateful ’cause its a hell of an experience working at Best Buy,” Cossio said. “And here to get a permanent job really what you gotta do is just put 100 into it and you’ll have a permanent job here for sure.”

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This year a number of companies are hiring.

Best Buy is hiring 29,000 people. Macys is offering 65,000 jobs. Kohls said it will hire 40,000 seasonal workers. In total, U.S. retailers will hire 600,000 seasonal workers.

“Firms are really confident that this season is going to be great,” said Professor Thomas Smith, a labor expert at Emory University. “Hopefully this will transition into more full time jobs and a lower unemployment rate.”

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