Seasonal and Permanent Employment to Hold Steady in the Fourth Quarter, But Paychecks Will Be Bigger, According to CareerBuilder's Annual Forecast
-- 34 Percent of Employers Hiring for Permanent Roles; 33 Percent Hiring Seasonal Staff
-- Number of Employers Increasing Seasonal Pay Expected to Jump 10 Percentage Points
-- Retail Seasonal Hiring to Decline 4 Percentage Points Compared to Last Year
PR Newswire

CHICAGO and ATLANTA, Oct. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Seasonal and permanent workers are expected to take home bigger paychecks in the fourth quarter as the push for better wages and the increased competition for skilled labor remain hot issues for employers. According to CareerBuilder's Q4 2016 U.S. Job Forecast, 47 percent of employers expect to increase pay for seasonal workers in Q4. Of those hiring seasonal employees, 75 percent will pay $10 or more per hour, up from 72 percent last year, and nearly 3 in 10 (28 percent) expect to pay $16 or more per hour, up from 19 percent last year.

In terms of full-time, permanent employees, 68 percent of employers plan to increase salaries for these workers in Q4, with 28 percent anticipating an average pay increase of 5 percent or more. View the full report here.

"Overall, permanent and seasonal hiring in the fourth quarter will be on par with last year, with one-third of employers planning to add staff in either category," said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder and co-author of The Talent Equation. "However, campaigns for a higher minimum wage, paired with a tighter labor market for lower-skill and semi-skill jobs, is giving job seekers more of an edge when it comes to compensation. Wage growth, while still a serious concern, will likely see a lift in the coming months."

The national study was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from August 11 to September 6, 2016 and included a representative sample of 2,379 hiring managers and human resources professionals across industries and company sizes.

Retail Hiring in Q4 2016

Seasonal hiring among retailers – arguably the largest industry segment for seasonal employment this time of year – is expected to dip compared to 2015, but will still be sizeable and yield better pay. Nearly half of retailers (49 percent) plan to hire seasonal workers in Q4, 4 percentage points shy of last year (53 percent). Of those retailers hiring seasonal help, 53 percent will pay $10 or more per hour – up from 43 percent in 2015.

Overall Seasonal Hiring in Q4 2016

Looking across industries, one-third of employers (33 percent) expect to hire seasonal workers in Q4, the same as last year. An increasing number of these employers are viewing seasonal hiring as a means to test-drive candidates for more permanent roles. Sixty-two percent expect to hire some of their seasonal staff for full-time positions, up from 57 percent last year and a big leap from 42 percent two years ago.

While a significant number of employers will be increasing staff to meet demands of the busier holiday season, others are focused on wrapping up 2016 or getting ready for the New Year. Companies across industries are hiring seasonal workers for:

  • Customer Service – 37 percent
  • Administrative/Clerical Support – 19 percent
  • Accounting/Finance – 16 percent
  • Inventory Management – 16 percent
  • Shipping and Delivery – 16 percent
  • Technology – 15 percent
  • Marketing – 13 percent
  • Sales (non-retail) – 13 percent
  • Hosting/Greeting – 13 percent

Full-time, Permanent Hiring in Q3 2016

Thirty-eight percent of employers added full-time, permanent headcount in Q3, relatively unchanged from 39 percent last year. Ten percent decreased headcount, on par with last year, while 50 percent made no change and 1 percent was unsure.

Full-time, Permanent Hiring in Q4 2016

Looking ahead, 34 percent of employers plan to add full-time, permanent employees in Q4, on par with last year. Nine percent expect to reduce staff, similar to 10 percent last year, while 53 percent anticipate no change and 4 percent are unsure.

Permanent and Seasonal Hiring By Region

The West houses the largest percentage of employers planning to hire full-time, permanent staff and seasonal staff in Q4 (39 percent and 40 percent, respectively) and experienced the largest year-over-year gain for permanent hiring (6 percentage points). The Midwest is trailing all regions for both permanent and seasonal hiring at 29 percent and 27 percent, respectively. Overall seasonal hiring is expected to hold steady with gains in the Northeast offsetting declines in other regions. Thirty-four percent of employers in the Northeast plan to add seasonal staff in Q4, up from 28 percent in 2015.


Hiring in Q4

Hiring in Q4

Seasonal Hiring
in Q4 2015

Seasonal Hiring
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*Totals may not equal 100 percent due to rounding and the ability to choose more than one response.

Survey Methodology

This nationwide survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,379 hiring and human resource managers ages 18 and over (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) between August 11 and September 6, 2016 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 2,379, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 2.01 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

About CareerBuilder®

CareerBuilder is the only end-to-end human capital management company covering the entire candidate lifecycle and employee lifecycle for businesses. As the global leader in its industry, CareerBuilder specializes in cutting-edge HR software as a service to help companies with every step of talent acquisition and management. CareerBuilder works with top employers across industries, providing solutions for talent and labor market analytics, job distribution, candidate sourcing, tracking, onboarding, HRIS, benefits administration and compliance.  It also operates leading job sites around the world. Owned by TEGNA Inc. (NYSE:TGNA), Tribune Media (NYSE:TRCO) and McClatchy (NYSE:MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
Jennifer Grasz

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SOURCE CareerBuilder