jobsAccording to Snagajob’s annual seasonal hiring survey, the 2012 holiday season is expected to have more seasonal jobs available than at any of the past five seasons. The increase in jobs is largely driving by a strong sales forecast. Other key data points gleaned from the survey include:

• 63 percent of seasonal hiring managers will be hiring this year, up 12 percent over last year.

• Hiring managers are expected to hire an average of 6.1 seasonal workers which is a 50 percent increase over 2011’s 4.1 rate. The number is up nearly 100 percent from the 2009 low of 3.1 workers.

• Hiring managers expecting their companies to increase fourth-quarter sales is 20 percent above the number expecting sales numbers to be worse, a 13 percent increase over 2011.

Hiring managers were also found to be expecting a jump in temporary hiring, rising to levels even higher than before the recession in 2007 when hiring managers hired an average of 5.6 hourly, seasonal workers. Holiday hiring is expected to end sooner this year than last leading to prospective applicants launching their job searches sooner than last year. Of hiring managers expecting to hire this holiday season, 57 percent expect to complete hiring by the end of October, up 11 percent over 2011.

“For the past few seasons, we’ve had to talk about ‘incremental improvements’ being expected in holiday hiring,” said Jason Hamilton, vice president of marketing for Snagajob. “But this year, there are strong indications that there should be substantial movement in getting us back to the kinds of holiday hiring levels we were accustomed to prior to the recession. Doing the math, our survey shows that 24 percent more hiring managers are hiring this season, and hiring managers, on average, are planning to hire about 50 percent more people. Those indicators taken together point to a vastly improved seasonal job market.”

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