As the air gets crisper and the leaves begin to turn, it’s undeniable the holiday season is underway. Glittering window displays, specialty treats, and seasonal events invite consumers to indulge in some holiday cheer. This festive time marked with celebrations and traditions is also commemorated for its serious spike in consumer spending.
An October consumer survey report estimates American consumers plan to spend an average $935.58 million during this year’s holiday shopping season, which will increase holiday sales nearly 3.6% from those in 2015. Sharp increases in demand confront businesses and firms around the country to respond with serious supply.
In order to provide the necessary holiday cheer, businesses begin seasonal hiring in late October, and the hunt for seasonal employment drastically picks up in early November –just in time to meet Black Friday quotas. This year U.S. retailers expect to hire nearly 740,000 seasonal workers, according to a survey conducted by the firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas. Macy’s will hire the most seasonal workers this holiday season followed by JCPenney. Packaging and delivery companies such as USPS, FedEx, UPS, and Amazon, are also hiring substantial amounts of part-time help. In addition to major retailers, holiday-related businesses–greeting card makers, decorating and design firms, caterers and travel services–will also be increasing their payrolls.
Job search websites like Indeed have become an indispensable tool for businesses to advertise their seasonal openings, which consist of more than lower-level sales positions. In order for the holiday season to effervescently shine, professional managers, contractors, marketers, social media experts, decorators, production designers, and photographers will temporarily join companies’ payrolls. As celebration and excitement flutter through the air, seasonal hires also have a unique opportunity to be considered for full-time positions after the holidays –this is a great occasion to get one’s foot in the door.
An important factor to keep in mind for seasonal hiring is the difference between seasonal workers and seasonal employees. A seasonal worker is one that is employed for no more than four months (or 120 days) during the prior calendar year. A seasonal employee is 'an employee who is hired into a position for which the customary annual employment is six months or less.' The term 'customary' refers to an employee who typically works each calendar year in approximately the same part of the year. An ideal example of a seasonal employee is a summer intern. Additionally, if a business hires an employee who meets the definition of a 'seasonal employee,' they cannot work more than an average of 30 hours per week when measured over the 6-month time period. The details and definitions surrounding seasonal employees and seasonal workers can be found in the February 2014 final regulations on the Employer Shared Responsibility (ESR) provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
This year’s significantly large holiday season will yield good tidings for consumers, businesses, and workers alike. As the festivities begin to flurry this Black Friday, be sure to keep in mind the unique, mutualistic relationship between consumers, businesses, and workers this holiday season.