Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. credits consistent hiring numbers across all industries and an increase in holiday spenders for the big spike.
Paducah's JCPenney Store Leader Clay Evans said nationwide more than 36,000 will be hired this season.
"Locally that equates to about 30% more people than we had last year," Evans said.
Third-year seasonal JCPenney employee Brenda Davis said she loves working during the holiday season because of holiday music and people's good moods. She said she'll keep working at JCPenney seasonally as long as they need her.
"It means a lot. I have 13 grandchildren. It really helps my budget out a lot during this time of the year. Everyone gets to get a little something from nana and papa," Davis said.
Some worry a trend in online shopping may mean less seasonal jobs. However, major online retailers like Amazon increased its hiring this year by 14 percent with 80,000 more jobs. To meet demands of so many packages, UPS plans to hire about 90,000 seasonal hires