Experts predict big spending in East Texas this holiday season

Experts predict big spending in East Texas this holiday season

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Retailers project that this holiday season will be a good one. Experts believe a huge indicator is the low unemployment rate across Texas.

We are still more than a week out from Halloween, but Paula Ashen is already planning her strategy for holiday sales.

"This year I am planning on spending a lot of money on my family for presents," said Paula Ashen.

Shoppers like Ashen are the reasons retailers like Best Buy have already started hiring holiday workers.

The store's General Manager Jerry Jones said the consumer market has been good all year long, and they are hoping for a robust holiday season.

"We are going to be hiring more people in the past. We have already started that," said Jones. "We have already hired several but we are looking for more people this year."

Marilyn Hartsook at Workforce Solutions said more people have jobs, so more people are spending.

"We are seeing a lot more consumer confidence that's creating the need for jobs," said Hartsook

In the last year the unemployment rate fell nearly two points in Deep East Texas. In Angelina county, that number was just over a point. As that number goes down, people's confidence as consumers goes up.

"If people are worried about being laid off, they don't have a feeling of job security and they are less likely to spend money," said Hartsook.

This has been the case in East Texas before.

"This time of year isn't always a good time of year for hiring. When the economy was bad in 2002 and 2008 a lot of companies were laying off," said Hartsook.

However, 2014 is shaping up to be the complete opposite. Although Hartsook said we will see a spike in unemployment at the beginning of next year.

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