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28,000 Christmas jobs still available, despite cost-of-living crisis

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Christmas job openings include: Reindeer Handlers, Christmas Decoration Installers and Christmas Elves

According to new research from Adzuna this year’s Christmas hiring remains resilient, with close to 28,000 temporary Christmas positions currently available, despite concerns over the cost-of-living crisis.

Adzuna analysed over 1.1 million jobs available in November to reveal the top Christmas jobs hiring now. There are currently 27,694 Christmas jobs on offer across the UK, up 5% from 26,307 this time last year. By comparison, there was a 93% year-on-year increase in the number of advertised Christmas jobs between 2020 (13,668 jobs) and 2021, suggesting that last year’s significant upturn in Christmas hiring has softened this year.

Topping the list of companies still looking for seasonal staff are supermarkets Tesco (2,226 jobs), Sainsbury’s (1,103 jobs) and Marks and Spencer (684 jobs). Hospitality chain Loungers (488 jobs) and fashion retailer Next (308 jobs) are also still advertising for hundreds of open Christmas roles.

Two sectors dominate seasonal hiring: Retail and Hospitality & Catering. The majority of roles available are customer-facing sales roles, stockroom assistants or servers. Interestingly, Christmas hiring in the Logistics and Warehousing sector — one of the sectors with the biggest demand for seasonal workers last year — has cooled in 2022, with only 1,630 openings up for grabs. The drop in ranking could be spurred by the plunge in the total vacancies in the sector. Adzuna data shows the sector experienced a 33.4% year-on-year drop in advertised vacancies, from 117,500 in October 2021 to 78,290 in October 2022. On a separate note, Royal Mail, the third-biggest Christmas employer of 2021, announced plans in October to axe as many as 10,000 jobs in the upcoming six months.

In total, ten of the largest seasonal employers are hiring 234,700 workers this Christmas, up 74% from 135,000 workers last year. The growth is largely driven by Amazon, which alone takes on an additional 150,000 workers. Take the e-commerce giant aside, there are five companies — Sainsbury’s, Tesco, John Lewis, Boots and Domino’s — offering 10,000 or more seasonal jobs this year.

Festive and fabulous Christmas jobs

An online search of roles revealed openings for Reindeer Handlers to bring Santa’s ride to different locations throughout the UK (at £9 – £12 per hour), and for Christmas Tree Decorators and Christmas Florists to help companies and homeowners to make their offices and homes Christmassy (paying £12 – £18 per hour).

For those who love skating, go for openings for Ice Rink Marshalls at historic sites such as Warwick Castle, paying up to £11.21 per hour. For those that love dressing up, there are over 400 openings for Santas and Christmas Elves including at theme parks such as Gulliver’s World, paying up to £15 an hour.

Other festive and fabulous Christmas jobs include openings for Seasonal Gift Wrappers, Turkey Pluckers, Christmas Tree Harvesters, Festive Nursery Practitioners and Seasonal Chocolate Packers.

The most lucrative winter position is for Christmas Chefs, who are responsible for crafting the Christmas menu and preparing food for private homes or restaurants, paying up to £300 per day.

Best relief perks for the cost of living 

Employers are trying their best to help employees cope with the rising cost of living. There are currently 12,185 advertised jobs covering free meals. Recruitment company Siamo Group is offering new starters one free meal per day from November to the end of December.

Meanwhile, one-time monetary incentives are also popular, with 7,421 advertised jobs promoting bonuses. There are myriads of one-off bonuses. Grocery and technology firm Ocado Group, private healthcare provider Bupa and hotel The Mayfair Townhouse are offering £500 welcome bonuses for e-scooter riders, senior care assistants and housekeeping room attendants. Sports retailer JD Sports offers a £560 attendance bonus for warehouse operatives. Hotel chain Marriott offers a £500 loyalty bonus for chefs, and construction engineering company M Group Services provides loyalty bonuses of up to £1,000 for engineers.

Paul Lewis, Chief Customer Officer at Adzuna commented: “Having nearly 28,000 jobs for one special occasion is very impressive amid challenging economic climate. As the cost-of-living crisis deepens, employers are eking out earnings by various cost-saving measures including trimming down recruitment budgets, and that’s why we’re seeing a halt in hiring growth momentum. That said, we’ve also noticed many employers are striving to support prospective employees through the rising cost of living, such as offering cash bonuses and free meals. To jobseekers who enjoy working with customers face-to-face, now is the perfect time to earn extra cash for the holidays as the retail sector is flourishing in this holiday season.”

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