Seasonal Jobs

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Seasonal Jobs: Are They Worth Taking?

It looks like hiring in the fourth quarter of this year will be exceptionally good. The fourth quarter of most years is the best because of the hiring that retail establishments in Calgary have to do in order to be staffed for Christmas sales. Most of these jobs are what we call “seasonal” because they only last as long as the season for which they were created. Are these seasonal jobs worth taking when you really need a full time job?

These same employers tend to wait until the beginning of the fiscal year to do any hiring for full time positions. This year however, it is expected that both temporary part-time and permanent full time positions will be available in the fourth quarter. Career Builders, perhaps the best known and most reputable of online job sites, conducted a survey among management and business owners.

This survey indicated that as much as 29% of businesses in Calgary intend to hire permanent full time staff in the fourth quarter of this year. Contrast this with the fact that only 4% of all seasonal openings in 2013 were for full time, permanent workers. 43% of all retail businesses intend to hire seasonal fourth quarter workers this year.

It appears that the economy is almost back to pre-recession era numbers, allowing those who are looking for work to be much more comfortable taking seasonal jobs with the hope and intent that these will become good permanent full time jobs. Small businesses are developing recruitment plans that are on par with the larger businesses and that is a great barometer for the overall economy.

In reality, the strength of hiring in the fourth quarter is built on the success and the strength of hiring in the third quarter. A full 34% of all employers added at least one full time permanent employee in 2014’s third quarter.  Again, contrast this to 28% in the third period in 2013. On the flip side, 11% decreased staff in 2013 while only 10% did so in 2014.

As previously mentioned, the majority of the seasonal hiring in Calgary has traditionally been retail, but this year it is also expected that 26% of all industries, not just retail, will hire seasonal workers. Of the seasonal workers these companies hire, 42% will transition to permanent positions. It is also anticipated that these seasonal workers will also see an increase in pay from wages.

This same survey shows that 27% of all the employers who are hiring in this timeframe are also being paid a higher wage. 63% of all the seasonal employers are paying at least $10 an hour and a little less than 20% are paying $16 or more.

So what type of jobs are these seasonal positions? The number one type of seasonal employee is that person who works in customer service. This is at least 40% of all the positions and the second place position is not even close with 15% of all seasonal jobs. At 13% are the shipping and delivery jobs. Accounting and inventory management are at 12%. But regardless of any of these percentages, all types of jobs will be available this season.