Christmas Hiring in Australia: What’s in Store
- 2017 is a bumper year for Christmas jobs, which are up around 30% over last year.
- Job seekers are more active and they’re searching earlier than in previous years.
- Those who wait may be too late—postings can fall 30–40% in November.
Attention job seekers: The Christmas hiring season is well underway as Australian retailers gear up for the biggest shopping season of the year. For those hunting for Christmas work, the time is now to polish their resumes and apply for the thousands of opportunities across the country.
So far, it has not been the best year for Australian retailers. Over the past year, spending has risen just 1.4%. Nevertheless, retailers remain optimistic about the Christmas holidays judging by their stepped-up hiring pace. Indeed data show that 2017 may be a strong year for Christmas job seekers, with postings tracking around 30% higher than last year.
For many job seekers, part-time and casual work over Christmas is a way to make pocket money while on holiday. But these jobs, concentrated in retail and hospitality, provide crucial work experience and training. Those who perform well just may find themselves employed on a more permanent basis.
It’s not only employers who are more active this season. In October, job searches for Christmas positions were 21% higher than a year ago. Job seekers began searching earlier than in previous years, perhaps hoping to get a jump on their peers.
Australian businesses start Christmas recruitment early
The importance of Christmas jobs is shown by the fact that businesses begin advertising as early as August. The number of job postings typically peaks in either September or early October. It is now the middle of November and already many thousands of openings have been filled.
Those who believe they can wait until December to find a Christmas job should think again. The number of job opportunities typically falls by 30–40% in November. Businesses often finalise their Christmas rosters early. Those who wait may be too late!
Job searches tend to peak in October and November—a little later than job postings. However, job seekers are increasingly switched on, and this year searches picked up earlier than in previous years. August 2017 search activity was 39% higher, September searches 32% higher and October searches 21% higher than in the corresponding months last year.
Who is hiring?
Most of the Christmas openings are in the retail sector. Nevertheless, because of knockoff effects, other sectors benefit from higher retail spending. As they scoop up toys and clothes, holiday shoppers also create jobs in hospitality. After all, every shopper needs to eat and rehydrate!
Clothing and jewelry feature heavily among businesses with the highest number of job openings. There are also opportunities in bedding and manchester.
Strong job advertising and search activity point toward a bumper Christmas season for retailers. Job seekers who haven’t applied yet haven’t missed the boat, but the number of job openings will decline every day until Christmas. The time to act is now!
Callam Pickering is an Economist at the Indeed Hiring Lab with a focus on Australia. Previously he was an economist at the Reserve Bank of Australia focusing on household spending and house prices. He also worked as the economic editor at online publications the Business Spectator and Eureka Report where he covered economic issues relating to Australia. Callam earned a Bachelor of economics and Accounting from Monash University.