NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Dollar General plans to create 6,000 new jobs in the next year, the discount retailer said Monday.
The retailer said the hiring is the latest phase in its ongoing expansion. Dollar General will have created more than 15,000 new jobs from 2009 to 2011, the company said.
In addition to the 35 states where Dollar General already operates, the retailer will open stores in Connecticut, Nevada and New Hampshire. It is also planning to "remodel or relocate" 550 stores.
Shares of Dollar General rose slightly in Monday trading.
The news is part of what many economists believe is a brightening employment picture nationwide, with forecasts of between 2.5 million and 3 million jobs created in the coming year.
That would be about triple the gain recorded in 2010 and the best one-year jump since the white hot labor market of 1999.
Other signs of strength include a 17% increase in job openings from June through October, the most recent reading from the Labor Department, and the first initial jobless claims reading below 400,000 in more than two years during the week ended Dec. 25.
The government's December jobs report is scheduled for release Friday. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com expect an increase of 135,000 jobs and a decline in the jobless rate to 9.7% from 9.8% in November.