Survey: Dim holiday hiring outlook

Richmond, Va. The outlook for hourly seasonal jobs is dim, with a more than 40% decrease in holiday hiring levels over the numbers reported just two years ago, according to a new survey from

The competition for available jobs is also higher than ever, with a majority (54%) of hiring managers expecting more applications than last year, the report said.

The survey, conducted by third-party research firm Ipsos Public Affairs, finds that each manager, on average, plans on hiring 3.1 seasonal employees this holiday period. This is 16% fewer workers than the 3.7 seasonal workers they each intended to hire last year. These figures account for the 53% of managers who don’t plan on making any seasonal hires this year and the 57% of managers who didn’t have recruiting plans in 2008.

Looking back to 2007, the same survey reported that each manager reported hiring an average of 5.6 seasonal employees that year (including those who didn’t hire any workers), making this year’s intentions a 45% reduction from previous employment levels.

Among the businesses that do plan to hire this year, each manager intends to hire an average of 6.7 employees, which is 26% fewer than the nine employees that were expected to be hired last year and a 40% drop from the 11.2 employees hired in 2007.

For those who are hired, their opportunities may actually be better than last year, the report said. Hiring managers with available positions expect to pay seasonal employees an average of $10.40 an hour, an increase of $0.40 over last year.

The Federal minimum wage increased in July by $0.70, which likely contributed to this anticipated increase in seasonal pay.

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