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Survey: Holiday workers want wage increases, flexible hours

holiday cashier
Wages and flexible hours are the main priorities of holiday job seekers.

A new survey reveals the work preferences of seasonal job seekers.

Motivated by inflation concerns and rising household costs, many people are looking to increase their spending ability by taking on extra work this holiday season, according to a study by staffing company PeopleReady, which is part of TrueBlue. More than half (60%) of the survey respondents are looking for seasonal employment in addition to their current jobs. Of the holiday job seekers, 18% are looking for their first seasonal job.

Schedule flexibility is top of mind among this year's holiday job seekers:  Respondents said that flexible hours are one of the most important factors in choosing a job (23%), second only to increasing their wages (53%).

Respondents also said finding a job that meets their needs (43%), getting more hours (28%) and scheduling issues (18%) will be their greatest work challenges this holiday season.

Despite increased interest in seasonal work, a tight labor market and a shift in worker attitudes will likely make holiday hiring more challenging this year. To attract seasonal workers, employers should keep in mind several of the survey's findings about worker preferences, advised the study.

With 47% of survey respondents reporting the holidays are the most stressful of all work seasons, employers who make it easiest to find and accept jobs will have an edge in the competition for workers. Many job seekers are turning to job search apps to find work: Eighty-eight percent of respondents said they were likely to use a mobile app to find temporary work this holiday season.

"Right now, job seekers are looking for flexible scheduling and more control over their job search," said Taryn Owen, president and COO of TrueBlue. "Companies that leverage mobile apps to make their hiring process easier have an advantage over their competitors. Apps offer job seekers instant access to local jobs and give employees the ability to choose the jobs that fit their schedules during the busy holiday season."

As hiring challenges continue for employers across the country, the industries most impacted by holiday shopping and travel, such as retail, manufacturing and hospitality may have it the worst. Based on its analysis of millions of jobs across the U.S., PeopleReady found that the jobs with the most openings this holiday season include:

  • Retail salespersons
  • Customer service representatives
  • Cashiers
  • Janitors and housekeepers
  • Fast food and counter workers
  • Stockers and order fillers
  • Delivery drivers

PeopleReady said it has seen a growing usage of its jobs app JobStack, with nearly 30,000 employers using the app and more than one million job seeker downloads. With PeopleReady's app, job seekers can search for work anywhere, anytime, filter jobs for easy searching and complete the application process right from their phones.

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