Jobseeker Interest in Seasonal Work on the Rise

As we head into November, new data released by iCIMS reveal that Q3 hiring levels have returned to what they were before the start of the pandemic. And according to Monster’s October Hiring Report, many jobseekers are looking to work in seasonal positions.


Previous iCIMS data revealed that seasonal hiring really started to ramp up in the final week of August, and throughout September, the trend continued. Despite the rise in seasonal hiring, iCIMS reports that retail job openings are still down 9% compared with 2019.

iCIMS suggests that because the pandemic hit the retail sector hard, these businesses may be cautious about bringing workers back, but additional data from career site show that jobseekers are on the hunt for this type of work.

In one Monster poll conducted among jobseekers on September 18, 2020, 84% plan to apply for seasonal work, with the largest percentage (46%) interested in applying to generate extra income. When it comes to seasonal job industries trending this year, the most popular are customer service (39%), retail (21%), and logistics (15%).

While retail job openings may be down 9%, according to iCIMS, Monster reports that on any given year, about 53% of respondents look for seasonal work in the fall and winter. The fact that so many (84%) are willing to work in the winter months at the height of a pandemic reveals the true state of employment: Workers are desperate to make ends meet ahead of the holiday season.

Not only are the holidays top of mind, but so is the pending outcome of the 2020 election. According to a different Monster poll conducted among jobseekers on October 16, 2020, nearly half of respondents (46%) shared that their current employment status has had an impact on their motivation to vote in the 2020 presidential election.

Additional Data

Monster reports these other trends it discovered as a result of its latest poll:

  • Steady supply and demand for transportation, warehousing, and retail jobs: New job postings for retail positions, including salesclerks and managers, experienced a 14% monthly increase in August, followed by another 10% increase in September, ahead of the holiday season.
  • Jobs are available in restaurants and bars: Job searches for “bartender,” “line cook,” “busser,” and “restaurant manager” increased throughout the month.
  • Hiring in health care sees increase: In September, Monster saw a 6% monthly increase in new healthcare job postings, with positions including registered nurses, personal care aides, lab technicians, dental assistants, opticians, and respiratory therapists. 
  • Job growth continues to build in manufacturing: New job postings, primarily for machinists and operational managers, increased in September on Monster.
  • Businesses start to rebuild teams: More companies are using Monster to hire secretaries, project managers, business operations specialists, customer service representatives, Human Resources specialists, and more.
  • Tech jobs are on the rise in a remote world: Monster data show businesses have increased hiring for full-time, tech-related positions, particularly for software developers, network and computer systems administrators, computer user support specialists, computer systems analysts, information security analysts, and Web developers.
  • It’s a jobseeker’s market in real estate: New real estate-related job postings increased by 40% month over month for positions including real estate agents, property and community association managers, loan officers, and interviewers.

While the economy won’t bounce back over night, seeing the rise in job openings and jobseekers applying for such positions should bring comfort to those looking to get back to “normal,” but unfortunately, we’ve still got a long way to go.

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