By Roseanne Tellez

CHICAGO (CBS) — Major retailers are gearing up for holiday hiring and that’s good news in Illinois where the unemployment rate is 9.2 percent and 602,000 people are looking for work. With those numbers, you’ll want to get an early start on the job search. Roseanne Tellez has more on who’s hiring, and when.

It’s all about Halloween now, but Christmas is around the corner. Holiday hiring sounds promising this year but is predicted to be down from last year.

Nationwide, Target plans to offer 70,000 seasonal jobs, Walmart, 55,000, and Kohl’s 52,000,and 2,000 of those positions will be in Chicago.

“Last year was the best in 12 years. I don’t think we are going to match that but it should be strong. If we see over 700,000 jobs created, that is a good year,” said John Challenger of Challenger, Gray & Christmas

Still, with more shoppers going online, retailers are being more strategic about when and who to hire.

“They’re hiring the exact number of people they need based on what the data is telling them,” said Challenger.

And current employees will get first dibs on many of the seasonal jobs. But if you can land one, they are still a great way to get your foot in the door.

“Last year as a company we actually retained 39 percent of seasonal our team members,” said Ray’n Baker of Target. “I think the best advice and what I look for as a hiring manager is really about fast, fun and friendly. We’re hiring for attitude.

If you’re looking for a seasonal job, Challenger says you better get moving now. And retailers aren’t the only ones hiring. Caterers and shipping companies also hire for the holidays.