UK Primed for Strong Summer 2018 Hiring
As summer arrives, the UK economy looks primed for strong summer hiring. Analyzing Indeed job posting and job search data, we can see a clear pattern that follows the seasons, along with an increasing trend for summer job listings. Job postings in the first half of May are already a larger share of job opportunities in the UK than last year’s peak, which suggests a strong summer season ahead.
Both postings and searches for summer jobs in the UK have historically peaked in June and both look on track to follow the same pattern again this year. Then, we can expect a swift drop off to a low in September following the pattern of previous years.
Searches for summer jobs in the UK are much more seasonal than job postings. Historically, postings have grown fairly smoothly throughout the first part of the year to a peak in June, ending with a relatively swift drop to a trough each September. Searches have had the same timing for peak and trough, but a more dramatic run-up and decline. The difference between the June peak and the previous September trough for job postings share averaged 285% for 2016 and 2017. This is a strong seasonal pattern but looks small when compared to the growth rate for searches for the same time frame, which averaged a whopping 1792%.
Summer jobs becoming a larger share of UK opportunities
Both postings and searches are a higher share this year so far than the last two years, but there’s been much more growth in postings than in searches. Summer job postings per million for the first half of May 2018 were 14% higher than May 2017. Summer job searches are also up, but less dramatically so, with summer searches per million for the first half of May 2018 up 5% compared to May 2017.
Summer jobs focus on children and students
In terms of the types of work available for summer gigs, many of them involve working with children, with “teacher” taking the top spot over the last several summers. The second spot goes to “summer associate” – a title used for a range of fields, from sales to finance to law – and attracts students looking for job experience during the summer holiday period. Other top summer roles include activity leader and coach, for other types of work with children, and server and chef, which highlight the seasonality of restaurant work with the increase in eating out over the summer holidays.
For this analysis, we categorized a job posting or search as pertaining to summer jobs if it contained the word “summer” in the job title or search. We excluded summer internships from our postings data because of notable differences in what types of work they were for, when and where they were posted, and when people searched for them. Combining the two types of summer work would muddle the results. Searches and postings data for May of 2018 run only through mid-month, but remain comparable to data from the previous year as these are measured as shares. The top jobs list excludes internships and jobs with undefined titles.
Tara Sinclair is an associate professor of economics and international affairs at the George Washington University and a senior fellow of the Indeed Hiring Lab. She has a PhD in economics from Washington University in St. Louis and her research focuses on modeling, explaining, and forecasting trends in the labor market and other macroeconomic variables both in the US and worldwide. For the Hiring Lab, Tara is working on research projects using Indeed’s unique data to develop new insights into the labor market.