While this holiday period is predicted to be stronger than the last three seasons, holiday hiring is still predicted to be short of pre-recession levels. Hiring managers aren’t expecting to do as much temporary hiring as they did in 2007 – a season during which they each recalled hiring 5.6 hourly, seasonal workers (including those who didn’t hire any). [Snagajob does not have any earlier data.]
Even so, hiring managers appear to be more positive this year than last year when it comes to the general outlook for their business, with one quarter (25%) believing that sales in the fourth quarter of this year will increase year over year, while just 18 percent believe their sales will decrease, resulting in a net score of +7. Contrast this with last year when the net score was +2, and 2009 when the net score was -7 (managers actually forecasted a decrease in sales).
“We’re definitely seeing incremental improvements in the holiday, seasonal job market, even if we haven’t yet returned to pre-recessionary levels,” said Shawn Boyer, CEO of Snagajob. “What’s encouraging is that we have the same percentage of hourly hiring managers expecting to make seasonal hires as before the recession, and we are trending toward hiring the same number of workers as 2007 levels, about three-quarters of the way there.”
Prospective applicants will want to begin their job hunt sooner rather than later because of the timing of the hiring cycle and competition from returning workers. Among those hiring this year, 18 percent already started in August or earlier, while 27 percent started this month and 33 percent will begin in October. Secondly, returning holiday workers will make up a significant portion of the seasonal workforce: Among managers making seasonal hires this year, they report that 53 percent of their workforce will be returning workers, up 8 points from last year.
Beyond traditional department and retail stores, Snagajob recommends that seasonal job seekers consider shipping companies, craft stores, restaurants, movie theaters, inventory positions, resorts staffing up for winter vacations and tax-preparation companies. Job opportunities can be found at www.snagajob.com.