Seasonal hiring rebounds after pandemic slowdown

Postings and searches for holiday-related jobs rise dramatically

Seasonal hiring rebounds after pandemic slowdown

While the appetite for seasonal hiring was relatively weak over the first two years of the pandemic, holiday job postings have ramped up early in 2022.

Through October, they were running well above both 2021 and 2019 levels, according to data from job board Indeed.

Holiday job postings were 28 per cent and 40 per cent above 2021 and 2019 levels, respectively.

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Indeed tracked holiday-related job postings that include terms such as “holiday,” “seasonal,” “Christmas,” and “Santa” in job titles, while excluding certain non-holiday terms such as “labourer.” Seasonal demand is mainly concentrated in the retail industry.

The four most common winter holiday job titles on Indeed are primarily customer-facing retail positions, together accounting for over half of this year’s holiday postings: seasonal sales associate, customer service representative, sales consultant and cashier.

Rebound among job seekers

While the rise in holiday hiring appetite suggests seasonal employers may have a tough time filling job openings, a rebound in job seeker interest in seasonal work could be a saving grace for hiring managers, says Brendon Bernard, senior economist at Indeed.

Canadian searches on Indeed containing seasonal terms are up substantially this year. As of Oct. 28, the seasonal share of total Canadian job searches stood at 1.8 per 1,000 searches, almost at the same point in 2019, and up 25 per cent from its 1.4-per-1000 share last year.   

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“However, the tight labour market that has emerged from the pandemic persists. Holiday job postings have grown more than job seeker interest since 2019, which means filling openings will be a challenge for some employers,” says Bernard.

“Adjusting wages to attract new hires, along with offering scheduling flexibility, will remain top of mind for employers struggling to attract seasonal candidates.”


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