Holiday hiring looking merriest in four years

The November increase is the largest gain since retailers added 465,400 workers in 2007 and nearly double the 213,500 retail workers added in November 2008, at the height of the recession.

Overall, seasonal hiring is up 15 percent from last year, with retailers adding 547,200 workers, compared to 476,800 workers added in October and November 2010. 

Retail employment grew by 150,800 in December 2010 — if retailers match that level this year, seasonal hiring will exceed last year's total of 627,600.

Retailers — of the brick-and-mortar type — saw a 7 percent increase in Black Friday sales, hitting a record high $11.4 billion, according to the National Retail Federation.  

Meanwhile, IBM reported that the average amount of money spent per consumer on Cyber Monday increased a "whopping" 33 percent, Challenger said. 

Retailers aren't alone in their hiring ways — FedEx and UPS planned to add a combined 75,000 workers to help them deliver all of those holiday packages.