The market for temporary seasonal roles in Britain has dived by a third this year compared to 2019.
There are currently 13,600 temporary Christmas roles, a 31 per cent drop on the same week last year where more than 20,000 vacancies were available, according to job website Adzuna.
The fall in job vacancies is down to a wider hiring slowdown and certain businesses potentially not seeing the usual festive surge in custom.
As more consumers buy their Christmas presents online there will be more demand for logistics and warehouse staff this year
The UK’s unemployment rate has risen to 4.8 per cent in three months to September, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Redundancies, meanwhile, rose by a record 181,000 during the same period.
There are still many companies looking for seasonal staff. Topping the list is courier company Yodel with 1,647 jobs, followed by Royal Mail with 1,524 jobs and in third place is online tutoring platform Tutorful with 1,032 roles, according to Adzuna.
Can you still get a retail job?
Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, says that jobseekers seeking festive work this Christmas need to think creatively to secure a role.
Retail, normally the stalwart sector for Christmas jobs, accounts for just six per cent of open roles this year (767 jobs) compared to 17 per cent two years ago.
Tesco, for example has 341 Christmas roles searching for ‘festive colleagues.’
Meanwhile, sales roles account for just 461 seasonal roles – or three per cent of roles this Christmas (down from eight per cent two years ago).
There may have been a third of festive season jobs cut this year but there are still many companies such as the Royal Mail, Yodel & Tutorful offering thousands of seasonal jobs
Hunter says: ‘There are fewer jobs on offer than usual, with retail positions thin on the ground and more people competing for each opening.
‘However, the pandemic has created some new seasonal opportunities.
With versions of lockdown still predicted to be in force in December, much of 2020 Christmas shopping is expected to be online creating a demand for delivery drivers and warehouse packers.
Retail used to be a top hiring sector during the festive season in years gone by, but the Covid-19 pandemic has seen it drop to third place int he top five sector chart for seasonal jobs
The online shopping boom
According to Adzuna there are plenty of logistics and warehouse jobs still on offer this year with 5,476 available accounting for 40 per cent of roles compared to 20 per cent two years ago.
Hunter says: ‘Delivery driver roles are plentiful, boosted by the Christmas online shopping boom.
‘There is also strong demand for online tutors to help children catch up on the school work they may have missed earlier in the year.’
Despite the gloomy outlook in some sectors, Adzuna says that temporary jobseekers needn’t be disheartened as there are festive season roles available for those happy to think ‘outside-the-box’ and willing to do something different.
It’s possible to secure a job out in the open this Christmas with Christmas tree patches
What’s the pay like?
Depending on your age, the National Minimum Wage ranges from £4.15 (for apprentices) to £8.20 if you’re aged 21-24. The National Living Wage (£8.72) applies if you’re aged 25 and over.
Most companies featured in the research pay over the NLW. The platform points out that, thanks to the pandemic and the need for better hygiene, there’s a need for shop deep cleaners paying up to £9.30 an hour.
The minimum wage for those aged 25 and over is £8.72
There’s also concierge roles available at Claibon Property Services paying £17.44 an hour servicing some of the bigger offices in the city and luxury residential blocks.
If you’re a master in the kitchen, however, you could land a private chef role paying up to £40 an hour.
For those seeking jobs in outdoor retail environments there are also lots of roles on offer.
Garden centres like Dobbies are looking to hire Santas and festive elves, while Christmas tree patches like the Queen Elizabeth Country Park need sales assistants to sell stock in the run up to the holidays.
Healthcare workers are also in demand with 528 seasonal roles on offer in the healthcare and nursing sector and 470 in social care roles paying up to £10.25 an hour.
Hunter adds: ‘Christmas cover in health and social care also remains critical. And as we face Covid at Christmas, new seasonal positions are emerging for deep cleaning experts and Christmas concierges to look after empty city buildings.’