Seasonal hiring is underway for many retail companies but, unlike previous years, new employees may find long-term homes from a temporary engagement.

CBS News reports a total of 151,000 seasonal hires in the month of October — three times more than last year.

Goizueta’s Tom Smith, a labor economist, said employers are optimistic about seasonal hires, which could increase the amount of full-time opportunities for workers beyond December.

“Firms are really confident that this season is going to be great,” Smith told CBS (video). “Hopefully this will transition into more full-time jobs and eventually a lower unemployment rate.”

CBS News confirms, saying 40 percent of employers surveyed will make at least some full-time hires from seasonal help.