Casual Christmas job seekers come to market a month earlier than usual,

Australian retailers, benefiting from economic growth and more casual job seekers than ever, have their pick as they hire up for peak summer period

Data from the world’s largest job site, Indeed, reveals that Australian job seekers started looking for casual Christmas work in August, a month earlier than the historical pattern of searching in late September and peaking in November. This is significantly ahead of company recruiting schedules this year, with many companies not having listed their Christmas casual roles yet.

Over the Australian summer period, the economy benefits from a 170 per cent increase in casual roles, with the biggest booms coming from retail, representing 87 per cent of the Christmas casual roles listed on Indeed. The retail brands attracting the most interest from job seekers this year are Cotton On, Dusk, Smiggle, Myer and DFO. Indeed also expects the hospitality and tourism industries to hire up on a casual basis to cover seasonal demand, with opportunities for those with experience and interest in those areas to benefit.

Currently Christmas casual job searches outweigh open roles by nearly 140 to 1, meaning that employers can have their pick of the bunch this year. There are more job seekers this year, with searches increasing 257 per cent over last year. Currently there are 5 per cent more casual Christmas roles on the market than 2014, although this is likely to increase further in the run up to Christmas.

Job seekers looking for casual work over the summer period are taking a hyper-local approach to job hunting, with significant amounts of people looking for jobs that include the names of specific shopping centres and suburbs.

Chris McDonald, MD of A/NZ at Indeed commented, “Today the job hunt begins with search, and the secret to attracting the best applicants for your role is by making sure you’re using search terms that job seekers are likely to use. Remember that Christmas casual work is often a person’s first experience of entering the workforce, so keep job titles simple and make the job relevant by including a location.”

McDonald continued, “Globally job seekers are looking for more flexibility, and for many Australians, the opportunity of securing a casual job over the Christmas period is a chance to gain important experience and help plan for the year ahead. Young people in particular benefit from casual job opportunities over the summer months, as it gives them the flexibility to earn without having a negative effect on school, college and university work. Older workers also benefit from these roles as they are looking for flexibility in their work commitments.”

 Most searched shopping centres:

  1. Highpoint Shopping Centre, Maribyrnong, Victoria
  2. Macarthur Square, Campbelltown, New South Wales
  3. Westfield Fountain Gate, Narre Warren, Victoria
  4. Melbourne Central, Victoria
  5. Chadstone Shopping Centre, Malvern East, Victoria

 Most searched suburbs:

  1. Chadstone
  2. Greensborough
  3. Doncaster
  4. Robina
  5. Carindale


Most searched terms:

  1. Part time
  2. Sales assistant
  3. Customer service
  4. Retail assistant
  5. No experience required

 With $45 billion spent in the period leading up to Christmas last year, and those aged over 14 spending an average of $2,500 on Christmas retail each, according to the Australian Retailers Association, it’s easy to see why the retail sector relies on Christmas casual work to help staff its busiest quarter.

Around half of Australian business* would consider hiring casual workers, with a quarter saying they help manage busy periods. 15 per cent also feel that hiring on a casual basis is the most cost-efficient for their business.

According to the ABS, approximately 2.2 million Australians are employed on a casual basis, and in 2013 just over half of all casual workers were under 30.

McDonald added, “Our research shows that businesses benefit from the ability to tap into a more flexible employee pool in line with demand. As industries including retail, hospitality and tourism experience seasonal peaks, casual work can offer a more flexible solution.”


About the data

All findings are drawn from Indeed’s Australian job search and job listings data from August 2014-September 2015.

*The survey referenced was undertaken in April 2015. Pureprofile interviewed 506 small business in Australia, weighted by state populations, on behalf of Indeed. Small businesses were defined as those with under 20 employees.

About Indeed

More people find jobs on Indeed than anywhere else. Indeed is the #1 job site in the world and allows job seekers to search millions of jobs on the web or mobile in over 50 countries and 28 languages. More than 150 million people each month search for jobs, post resumes, and research companies on Indeed, and Indeed is the #1 source of external hires for thousands of companies (sources: SilkRoad & iCIMS). For more information, visit