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Canada Holiday Jobs: What’s on Deck for Seasonal Hiring

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Indeed Hiring Lab research finds that experience pays off when in it comes to seasonal holiday work.

While the holidays are still weeks off, Indeed data show that employers have already started posting a high volume of seasonal jobs to have all the help they need in time for the holiday season. Job seekers are not far behind, already searching in greater numbers for seasonal work.

Employers posting holiday jobs earlier

Employers have already gotten a jump on holiday hiring, and according to Indeed data seem to be posting their holiday positions a bit earlier each year. The chart above shows how employers, especially in the last two years, have begun posting seasonal jobs en masse in September.

A line graph titled “Employers get an early start on holiday hiring,” showing the number of seasonal job postings in 2015, 2016, and 2017. The graph shows that, since 2015, there is an increase in job postings that gradually increases from August to November each year. 2017’s current data shows that trend being followed. Captions added post publication.

The volume of holiday job postings as a share of all job postings on Indeed’s site took a major leap from 2015 to 2016. In 2017, the demand from employers at least matches that of last year, as holiday job postings are marginally ahead of the pace for this time in 2016.

For job seekers, it is important not to wait too late into the holiday season before searching for seasonal jobs. Postings typically begin to drop off quickly around mid-November. 

Job seekers already searching for holiday work   

Similar to postings, searches in 2017 are marginally ahead of that from 2016 and a bit further ahead from levels seen in 2015. It also looks like job seekers are mostly in line with employers in that they begin their holiday season job searched soon after the start of September.   

A line graph titled “Job seekers begin their search for holiday work early,” showing seasonal job searches in 2015, 2016, and 2017. The graph shows that, since 2015, there is an increase in job searches that gradually increases from August to November each year. 2017’s current data shows that trend being followed. Captions added post publication.
Top companies for holiday jobs

The list of companies with the most holiday postings features mainly large retailers. There is a mix of mainstay Canadian retailers such as BELL, Indigo Books & Music and Hudson’s Bay, and also several large international chains.

A table titled “Large retailers hiring the most in the holiday season,” showing the top 10 companies ranked by volume of holiday job postings. The list includes: GAP Inc., BELL, BC Liquor Stores, Hudson’s Bay Company, PetSmart, The Source, Indigo Books & Music, Lowe’s, DAVIDsTEA, and The Home Depot. Captions added post publication.
Salaries

Salaries listed in Indeed job posting descriptions give a sense of how much extra money seasonal workers can earn during the holidays. The table below displays the average hourly wage for several common seasonal positions. While the pay ranges are relatively low, ranging from $13 to $17 an hour, those workers that have enough experience to fill a manager role stand to earn a bit in better position.

A table titled “Experience pays off in seasonal work,” showing the average hourly wage from August to October 2017. The jobs within this list include: retail manager, retail merchandiser, and retail sales associate, with average hourly wages of $17.51, $15.66, and $13.22, respectively. Captions added post publication.

With some of the largest retailers posting jobs early in the holiday season, it is clear that workers looking to earn a little extra will have plenty of opportunities to do so. However, job seekers should act soon, as previous year’s trends show that the holiday hiring season ends rather abruptly in early November.


Methodology

We define holiday job postings as those with one or more holiday-related terms in the job title, including but not limited to holiday, seasonal, and Christmas. Holiday job searches are defined as those containing one or more of the same list of holiday-related terms.

Salary data are gathered from Indeed job postings in August – September 2017 that listed a salary in the job description. The average hourly wage is calculated as the log-average of all salaries posted for that particular job title.