Higher demand for seasonal workers, but employers may struggle to fill positions: report – National

Employers may find it harder to hire temporary workers in the upcoming holiday season as growth in job openings relative to pre-pandemic times outweighs those looking, according to a new report.

Indeed’s Holiday Hiring Trends report released Wednesday indicates that seasonal assignments for this winter are up 28% from last year and 40% from 2019 levels.

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Meanwhile, the proportion of job seekers looking for seasonal work is up 25% from a year ago, but still just below pre-pandemic levels.

“The combination of stronger demand for seasonal workers and increased interest in job seekers points to a recovery in overall hiring this holiday season, but finding workers will likely be a challenge for some employers,” indicates the report.

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That’s similar to the rest of the labor market, Indeed senior economist Brendon Bernard noted.

“Employers have found it difficult to fill positions across the economy, and I think seasonal hiring will be no different this year,” he said.

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Employers may need to adjust wages to attract hires or provide schedule flexibility, Bernard said.

“For some individual employers, I think filling those roles is going to be difficult. And so the question is… what are employers doing to differentiate themselves?

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Vacation recruiting normally begins in September, Indeed said, but this year vacation job openings rose early.

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It’s a strong comeback after two years of pandemic hiring activity, Bernard said.

“This year we are seeing a bit more of a return to normal,” Bernard said.

Employers are likely bracing for an expected increase in foot traffic, he said.

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The share of vacation jobs in the overall market is 1.3%, not quite pre-pandemic levels but better than in 2021, Indeed said.

Overall, job openings in Canada hit record highs in 2022, signaling a tighter job market, particularly in some sectors.

Seasonal jobs are concentrated in the retail industry, according to Indeed, such as salespeople and customer service representatives. About half of this year’s seasonal assignments are in customer-facing retail positions, according to the report.

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Retail Council of Canada spokeswoman Michelle Wasylyshen said labor shortages are an ongoing problem in retail.

With big shopping events like Black Friday, Cyber ​​Monday and Boxing Day coming up, as well as the Christmas shopping rush, retailers are worried they could increase their workforce, she said.

One thing that Wasylyshen says is contributing to the retail shortage is that there has been a shrinking pool of part-time labor.

“Fewer older people and younger people have returned to work throughout the pandemic,” she said.

Stores that are unable to meet their hiring demands may have to reduce their hours or take other measures to compensate, she said.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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