Scramble for holiday season workers already near fever pitch

AP

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FILE- In this May 9, 2017, file photo, a UPS employee loads packages onto a truck at a company facility in New York. The job market is the tightest it has been in nearly five decades and online shopping is still growing at a double-digit rate. Businesses now need more workers at a time when fewer are available. UPS plans to hold nearly 170 job fairs around the country on a single day, Oct. 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) Across the country, America's retailers and shipping companies are looking happily forward to a robust holiday shopping season. There's just one concern: Who will stock the shelves, pack the orders and ring up customers?

The U.S. job market is the tightest it's been in five decades, consumer confidence is near an 18-year high and online shopping is surging. Companies that depend on holiday season sales need more workers at a time when the ranks of the unemployed have dwindled to their lowest level since the recession.

Envisioning an even tougher struggle than they've had in recent years, many companies are taking steps they've not tried before. More of them are offering higher pay. They're holding national hiring days. They're dangling bonuses. They're providing more full-time, rather than part-time, work.

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Financial Markets Glance

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October 17, 2018 at 2:08 pm | Dow Jones Industrials High: 25,810.09 Low: 25,479.16 Close: 25,706.68 Change: 91.74 Other Indexes Standard&Poors 500 Index: 2809.21 0.71 NYSE Index: 12,613.05 3...

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Stocks erase most of early losses after huge gain; IBM sinks

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October 17, 2018 at 1:40 pm | NEW YORK (AP) After an early slide, U.S. stocks clawed back much of the ground they lost and ended slightly lower Wednesday. Banks climbed but retailers, homebuilders and smaller companies fell. ...

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BC-USDA-Onion and Pots

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October 17, 2018 at 1:37 pm | IDAHO FALLS Shipping Point Prices as of 17-OCT-2018Provided by: Specialty Crops Market NewsFederal - State Market News Service, USDA.Phone: (208) 525-0166 Fax: (208) 525-5546Prices represent op...

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BC-Merc Table, 1st Add

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October 17, 2018 at 1:03 pm | CHICAGO-add Mercantile table, OpenHighLowSettleChg.LUMBER110,000 bd. ft.; $ per 1,000 bd. ft.Nov337.9338.0332.5333.76.2Jan336.5339.1332.7333.96.0Mar345.1347.9342.3344.73.6May356.43.6Jul364.63.6...

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