Attention employers and jobseekers: Even if memories of last summer’s holiday are still fresh in your minds and your social media pages are cluttered with beachside photos, autumn is here and Christmas can’t be far behind. It’s time to think about Christmas-season jobs.  

Christmas is when demand for an array of goods and services reaches its peak—everything from toys and video games to turkeys and brightly coloured jumpers portraying happy reindeer. It’s the busiest time of year for many businesses. Employers often hire extra staff to cope with the onslaught of customers and, as Indeed data shows, they start to prepare early. So do jobseekers, who on average begin searching for Christmas positions even before employers start posting jobs in earnest.

For employers and jobseekers, Christmas begins in summer

According to Indeed data, British employers begin advertising Christmas-related roles toward the end of August. However, the bulk of holiday jobs aren’t posted until a couple of weeks later, peaking around the end of September and early October.

This line graph shows seasonal holiday postings as a share of all postings on highlighting the first Christmas jobs tend to be advertised at the end of August. This line graph compares seasonal holiday postings by the years 2015, 2016, and 2017. 2015 saw the largest spike towards the end of September to around 7400 postings, 2015 saw it’s largest spike in October to around 6500, and 2017 began it’s climb at the end of September.

While employers start thinking about Christmas as the end of summer approaches, Indeed data shows that jobseekers start browsing holiday job opportunities before that. In fact, they may be looking for a Christmas job while they’re under an umbrella at the beach. Christmas job postings slowly start picking up toward the end of August, but searches on Indeed for holiday jobs begin to ramp up early in the month. Jobseeker interest in Christmas jobs peaks in mid-November and then drops quickly as the holiday season looms.

This line graph compares the years 2015, 2016, and 2017 searches for seasonal holiday jobs as a share of all searches on highlighting that jobseeker interest in Christmas jobs starts picking up even earlier. 2015 began it’s climb in August and reached it’s peak toward the end of October at 7000. 2016 had the same route as 2015, and 2017 began it’s climb at the end of August to almost 4500.

We don’t know why searches start to increase before postings. Maybe jobseekers are impatient for the holidays to arrive or employers are lulled by the late-summer sun. What it means though is that employers can take advantage of this early interest in Christmas roles by advertising their jobs near the beginning of August.

It’s not just Santa Claus and elf jobs

Every kid’s favorite holiday jobs are Santa Claus and his elves. Needless to say though, most Christmas roles are more prosaic. A look at employers that have the most Christmas positions advertised on Indeed reveals unsurprisingly that clothing, jewelry, beauty products, and toy retailers take the lion’s share. Royal Mail also makes it to the top ten.

This table shows the top 10 employers by number of seasonal holiday postings advertised highlighting jobs in the retail sector dominate Christmas holiday roles. 1. Next PLC, 2. Debenhams, 3. H Samuel, 4. Sports Direct, 5. Boots, 6. GAP Inc., 7. Royal Mail, 8. Primark, 9. Superdrug, 10. GAME.

You better watch out

Even if Christmas is still a few months away, holiday job search and posting activity has been on an upswing for a while. The busiest period for the retail and logistics sectors still lies ahead, but, by the end of August, British employers start advertising to fill Christmas jobs. Jobseekers are a jump ahead of them, starting to search for Christmas roles in early August. British employers that need holiday help can take advantage of this early interest by moving their holiday job posting schedules forward. When it come to job searches, Christmas arrives in summer.