Shaky consumer confidence and cost-trimming by stores may stop 2013 holiday seasonal hiring from reaching last year’s 12-year high, global employment consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported Monday.

Retailers are expected to hire roughly 700,000 temporary employees for the Oct.1- Dec. 31 holiday season, the Chicago-based company said. That would fall below the 751,800 hired last year. The 2012 total was up 14% from prior year and marked the fourth consecutive increase in holiday hiring since the national financial collapse.

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