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Increased Demand For Temporary Work Over The Christmas Period

This holiday season has seen big changes across the country, and this is no different on the work front. At the beginning of December we are now seeing an increased demand by individual jobseekers for temp or seasonal work. On a higher level to other Christmas seasons. This is due to greater movement across the country for employers seeking work and a slight increase of jobseekers on the market. However, an increase in holiday jobseekers is welcomed by many seasonal employers. Who have seen a decline in worker numbers over the last few years due to less international seasonal workers coming into New Zealand. Shopless analysis the reasons behind this influx in kiwis seeking seasonal work.

According to a statistics NZ 2018 study, temporary work makes up 9% of our working population. And while this number has stagnated over the COVID period, as we move into the traffic light system it is set to increase. For Aucklanders seeking to move to another part of the country it is a good opportunity to gain temporary work in a desired location, before finding permanent work or purchasing a home. In November and December we also saw the usual influx of school leavers and teenagers applying for the seasonal roles. Additionally for workers who are looking to change professions gaining seasonal work experience has offered a good option before committing to a new permanent role. The same survey also stated that there was a generally high standard of job satisfaction among temp job workers. Even though their job was less flexible and less predictable.

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At the end of 2020 the New Zealand government introduced new incentives to get kiwis into seasonal work. As the scheme is still in application it is believed that more kiwis might take up the seasonal offer in the 2021/22 holiday period. As new workers become a part of the scheme and seasonal workers that used the scheme last year can again apply for this offer. The scheme offers $1000 to help with moving or clothing costs. As well as a $200 per week accommodation supplement for up to 26 weeks. All of the details for this scheme is on the government website, here.

Additionally as there are a percentage of workers that have left their professions due to the application of recent vaccine mandates. Many of these workers will be looking to supplement their income with temporary roles, until they can find a permanent position. Due to the mandate requiring healthcare and teaching staff to be vaccinated there has been an estimated 3100 people within these professions leaving their jobs. While some of these individuals should be eligible for benefits. Others may not be immediately eligible for benefits such as the jobseeker allowance as their overall annual income may be too high. Some individuals that have left work within these professions will look at seasonal or contract work, to provide income over this holiday period. Many of these temporary roles may also provide a better work environment to this group of people. As they will be able to work without the restrictions of mandated work environments and outside workplaces that have chosen to require their high risk staff to be vaccinated over this time.

BIS Industry Research report previously stated "Temporary Staff Services industry is expected to be significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019-20 and 2020-21." However, they have predicted a slight bounce back in the NZ temporary employment at the end of 2021. Due to 5 years of temporary work demand decreasing, due to a high percentage of full or part time employment. Both the country’s move to the traffic light system and a long period of temporary work decrease will have an impact on this 2021/22 holiday season. Meaning more kiwis may be applying for temporary jobs, but there may not be as many temp jobs readily available. Particularly in high density areas where there is a higher demand.

In the National Survey of Employment Intentions survey looking at March 2020 and March 2021. The survey results showed that there was a slight increase in employment for fixed term employees in the last year, particularly in large or mid size businesses (larger than 9 people). With all the workplaces surveyed seeking new employees, stating they would also increase the number of fixed term positions available. So assuming that the increase in employers matched the increase of employees the increase in both areas would be beneficial to the New Zealand job market and economy over this holiday period.

In most industries the best time to apply for permanent work tends to be in January or February. This is due to the fact that many workplaces evaluate their need for new employees at the start of the year. And according to international trends people wanting to leave their workplace tend to do so in November or December. Therefore although the demand for temp jobs may currently be higher, the demand for permanent roles will likely increase as we go into the new year.

For those looking to employ seasonal workers over this Christmas period it is encouraging to know that there are more seasonal job seekers around. Shopless is a great option for listing your seasonal position, or a great platform for those currently looking for seasonal work. New Zealand has a wide range of seasonal work from agriculture to retail and office work. Offering work experience in many different industries.

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