Pressed to combat a growing labor shortage, credit card issuers are sweetening pay packages, advertising jobs on the Internet, and adding perks such as on-site karate lessons.

Though the number of banks with large card-issuing units is dwindling, the need for workers at all levels has not changed. If anything, it is intensifying, as issuers with national programs seek to expand. Credit card operations tend to be immune from layoffs, since the number of workers required to run a large-scale portfolio does not fluctuate with the market.

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