It’s shaping up to be a happy holiday for job seekers looking for a seasonal job, according to the sixth-annual survey commissioned by Snagajob, America’s largest hourly employment marketplace for job seekers and employers.

The 2013 forecast indicates that more seasonal jobs should be available this year than last year.

There are multiple data points of positive news from the survey of more than 1,000 hourly hiring managers with responsibility for seasonal hiring, which was conducted by IPSOS Public Affairs for Snagajob.

  • More managers hiring: Among hourly hiring managers with responsibility to hire year-end, seasonal workers for the holiday period, 69 percent will make hires this year, up 6 percentage points from last year (63 percent in 2012).
  • More workers will be hired: Hiring managers, including those not planning to make any hires, expect to hire an average of 7.8 seasonal workers each. This is a 28 percent improvement over last year (6.1 seasonal workers).
  • Strength in hiring backed by strong sales expectations: When comparing the hiring managers who expect their fourth-quarter sales to be better than last year with those who expect sales to be worse, the survey shows a net score of +28, indicating an expected sales increase. By comparison, this year’s measurement is an 8 point improvement over last year (+20 net score).

“While there have been lackluster gains in the overall job market recently, hourly employers will still have a strong need for seasonal employees,” says Megan Overton, spokesperson for Snagajob. “There has been strength in hiring for retail, restaurants, and other customer-service industries, and, according to our Snagajob survey, hiring managers need to staff up to holiday levels, even more so than they did last year.”

Prospective applicants will want to begin their job hunt now because holiday hiring is expected to be earlier this season. Among those who will be hiring, 52 percent expect to begin their hiring by the end of September—if not sooner—compared to 48 percent last year, an increase of 4 percentage points.

The peak for holiday hiring should be October, when 31 percent of hiring managers will begin their hiring.

And for job seekers looking for full-time work, odds are better that they will be able to find it this season. More than half of seasonal workers (53 percent) are expected to be full-time hires. Also, hiring managers who will be making hires expect that 52 percent of their seasonal hires will be able to stay on after the holidays with a permanent job.

The average hourly pay for a seasonal job is expected to be $10.80 an hour, up 10 cents from last year.

From a qualification perspective, 30 percent of hiring managers said that the flexibility an applicant has to work the daily hours a company needs is the No. 1 thing a seasonal applicant can bring to the table.

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. 

Employee Management, News, Outside Insights