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Survey: Expect more holiday jobs this year

A new poll indicates that managers plan to fill more temp jobs this holiday season than in recent years. Here's how to land one of them.

By Stacy Johnson Sep 29, 2011 6:52PM

This post comes from Michael Koretzky at partner site Money Talks News.


Halloween is the official beginning of the holiday season -- and the holiday hiring season. So here's some holiday cheer: "Hourly hiring managers foresee a steady increase in holiday, seasonal hires this year over the last three seasons, edging ever closer to pre-recessionary hiring levels."


That's the forecast from, an employment agency solely for hourly workers. The agency polled more than 1,000 employers to determine how many hourly workers they'll hire for the holidays. The results were encouraging. Post continues after video.

51 percent will do so this year -- up 8 points since 2008. Each hiring manager, on average, expects to hire 4.1 seasonal workers -- a 5 percent increase over last year's 3.9 workers and a 32 percent improvement from a low point in 2009.

"We're definitely seeing incremental improvements in the holiday, seasonal job market, even if we haven't yet returned to pre-recessionary levels," Snagajob CEO Shawn Boyer says. "What's encouraging is that we have the same percentage of hourly hiring managers expecting to make seasonal hires as before the recession, and we are trending toward hiring the same number of workers as 2007 levels, about three-quarters of the way there."


However, anticipation of an increase in holiday hiring is not universal, as this post at Top Stocks demonstrates.


If you want a holiday jobs, don't wait until the holidays to apply. Says the Snagajob survey:

Among those hiring this year, 18 percent already started in August or earlier, while 27 percent started this month and 33 percent will begin in October. Secondly, returning holiday workers will make up a significant portion of the seasonal workforce: Among managers making seasonal hires this year, they report that 53 percent of their workforce will be returning workers, up 8 points from last year.

So if you want a holiday job, apply now. For example, Shutterfly, an online photo-sharing service, recently announced that it's looking for 1,300 seasonal employees for $9 to $12 an hour. And Toys R Us is looking for a whopping 40,000.


Other tips for making holiday money instead of just spending it:

  • Whenever possible, apply in person. Most holiday jobs are all about customer service. So walk in with a smile as well as your resume.
  • Walk in well-dressed. If you’re interviewing at a clothing store,  wear that brand.
  • Full-time holiday work is rare, so many seasonal veterans cobble together two or even three part-time positions, working different shifts on different days.
  • The more flexible your work schedule, the more you can earn. That means weekends and evenings -- and holidays themselves.
  • Don't just look online. Drive around your city. Many mom-and-pop shops don't pay for help-wanted ads for holiday workers. They just put a sign in their window.
  • While the job is only temporary, don't treat it that way. Some companies consider short-term holiday work as a tryout. When they need to hire a full-timer, they turn to the folks who worked hard for them before.

If the increase in holiday hiring is a sign that full-time hiring may soon follow, this could be your ticket out of unemployment or underemployment. Now that would be a wonderful holiday gift. 


More on Money Talks News and MSN Money

Sep 30, 2011 7:38AM
Of course yesterday Best Buy said it was reducing hiring for the Holidays? I guess it depends on who you survey? If I was in retail management I would wait and see how demand is before doing a lot of hiring. After all there are plenty of potential workers out there. So finding people at the last minute won't be a problem. I suspect another bad season for retailers. I do not see much retail growth over last season and possible less. 
Sep 30, 2011 7:56AM

Who will spending ?????? That all of there jobs are neeeded

Sep 30, 2011 8:19AM
And consumers are going to come up with the money where??????????
Sep 30, 2011 8:47AM
Sep 30, 2011 3:32AM

When it comes to unemployment it’s been a tale of two recessions, with level of education playing an unprecedented role in whether you’ve been pink slipped or not. Getting a degree from "High Speed Universities" is the only solution

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