It’s hard to believe, but the holiday season is almost here. In just under three short months, we’ll be giving thanks and joining the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping around the country. Though it’s only September, businesses coast to coast are gearing up for what’s expected to be another big holiday season. 

Did you know the average American adult spends about $967 during the winter holiday season each year? It’s no secret the economy gets a major boost during the holiday season, but we don’t often talk about how businesses source talent for increased labor needs. From retail to warehousing, customer service to manufacturing, nearly all industries will feel the effects of the seasonal boom this year. 

It’s far too common for labor shortages to occur during the holiday season. Finding qualified and vetted talent can be difficult, especially when faced with one of the lowest unemployment rates in years and the need to fill orders, stock merchandise, and ensure quality of service. 

At Wonolo, we wanted to figure out how business leaders, hiring managers, and decision-makers could be better equipped to attract and retain the talent they need to make their businesses thrive this holiday season. To learn more about the state of seasonal labor, we analyzed our internal data of gigs completed from January 2018 – January 2019, with a specific focus on the August 2018 to January 2019 seasonal period. The result is a brand new report that we’re thrilled to share today: The State of the Holiday Hiring Hustle. Here’s what we recommend companies do to to get ahead of seasonal hiring based on our data:

Increasing seasonal pay

As companies in a variety of industries need to hire additional labor to prepare for the holidays, workers can be more selective about the jobs they take. To attract top talent, businesses across the country should expect to increase hourly and per-job wages during the holiday season. Requestors across Wonolo’s platform can expect to pay an average of $15.19 per hour this holiday season. This represents an 8% increase over the yearly average hourly pay of $14.44. Platform wide, seasonal pay per gig increased 9% to $99.44, up from the current yearly average of $91.59. 

Hiring early

Our data finds top Requestors on the platform start hiring early and setting wages high to ensure they’re getting the best talent. Requestors start setting wages as early as August, with steady pay increases until the end of the year. What are the top industries following this trend? Our data shows Manufacturing, Food Production, Fulfillment/Warehousing, General Labor, and Event Staffing as the top categories increasing hourly pay through the holiday season. 

Keeping up with the competition

Across the platform, Wonolo sees the highest seasonal hourly wages in the following job categories: Administrative ($32.43/hr), Delivery ($18.05), Event Staffing ($15.48), and Merchandising ($15.44/hr).  

With typically high retail sales during the holidays, it’s no surprise that Merchandising shifts on Wonolo’s platform are the highest paying per-job category, at $113.20 per job. In fact, seasonal Merchandising jobs saw an increase of 13% in total pay per job, and hourly pay in the Merchandising category increased by 6%. 

Our Wonoloers have come to enjoy Customer Service, Administrative, Washing/Cleaning, and Merchandising jobs the best, ranking Requestors in these categories the highest. But don’t worry if your business falls outside those categories! Offering incentives like discounts on merchandise, free lunch, and parking are all great ways to help boost your profile among potential workers. 

Support the Millennial women taking holiday work by stormWomen are becoming an increasingly large part of the gig economy. In fact, five out of Wonolo’s eight major markets count women as more than 50% of their workforce. And while our recent Age of the Hustle data report found that Boomers are the most active generation on Wonolo’s platform during the calendar year, the dominant age demographic working during the holiday season is actually Millennials, who make up 65% of the seasonal workers on the platform.

What industries should expect to see an influx of these workers? Wonolo finds women performing more than 50% of the jobs in Administrative and Data Entry categories, and more than 45% of the jobs in Event Staff, Food Production, Fulfillment/Warehousing, and Merchandising.

We know the holidays will be a busy time for your business, and we’re here to help! In-demand hiring platforms like Wonolo provide quality, vetted talent for businesses when and where they need it the most. As opposed to traditional temporary staffing agencies, in-demand hiring platforms work rapidly to deliver both a high-quality workforce and the assurance your fast-paced business needs this holiday season. 

Remember, too, that the holidays have a habit of sneaking up! To ensure your business attracts the top talent, we recommend seeking out talented workers early — perhaps earlier than you might normally think. Offering competitive wages or added perks to sweeten the deal (free parking, lunch, etc.) goes a long way for in-demand workers, too. 

We’re here to set your business up for success. For more tips and information on how to tap into the in-demand workforce this holiday season, download our report today