Retailers at the Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station want to fill 500 jobs Wednesday at an on-site job fair, where they will seek candidates for positions ranging from entry-level to management.

Some of the more than 25 stores hiring at the newly renovated mall, which now calls itself Walt Whitman Shops, include A/X Armani Exchange, Brooks Brothers, Brookstone, Coach, Brio Tuscan Grille, Pandora and Microsoft.

"Our ultimate goal with hosting the job fair is to make connections between our stores and restaurants, both existing and coming soon, and job seekers on Long Island," said Nancy Gilbert, the mall's director of marketing and business development.

The fair will run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The fair comes as job growth on Long Island remains relatively weak, and unemployment high -- at 6.2 percent in August.

Retail has helped to lead the employment market's recovery from the recession. But some local economists have expressed concern because that sector tends to have lower-wage jobs.

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Still, one economist expressed optimism about 500 jobs being added.

"The more these people are hired, the more they have money to spend and the greater the likelihood they will use other services that employ higher-paid workers," said Irwin Kellner, the Port Washington-based chief economist for MarketWatch, a financial news website. "You have to start some place, and you may as well start with retailing."