New report: Nine out of 10 hourly employers anticipate hiring the same or more workers this summer
During the summer months, consumers shop more, eat out more, take more vacations, and generally just spend more. And hourly employers in the restaurant, retail and hospitality industries consistently feel pressure to keep up with this demand. That’s why we issue an annual summer hiring survey to provide insights on this critical season for the hourly market.
The results for the 2016 Summer Hiring Survey are in, and it seems like it will be a good summer to be a job seeker–and a challenging one if you’re doing the hiring. This year’s report confirms the need for seasonal workers in the restaurant, retail and hospitality industries has not slowed down, and employers are going to have to do more to attract workers.
First, let’s talk about the demand. According to the survey, ninety-one percent of hourly employers anticipate hiring the same or more workers this summer compared to last year. This is a 17 percent increase over 2015 and over 50 percent increase over 2014. Small businesses (under 500 employees) plan to hire an average of 10 seasonal employees, while larger companies (over 500 employees) will hire an average of 50.
So where will all these workers come from? Sixty-six percent of hourly employers expect to hire new workers for their open summer positions vs. hiring employees they have worked with before. The vast majority of them (96 percent) also anticipate receiving the same or more applicants for their summer positions compared to last year.
With the national unemployment rate below five percent for the first time in eight years, these employers may be caught off guard at the dearth of available talent. The hourly employee candidate pool is rapidly shrinking and employers may face a slower application flow than anticipated.
The good news is that smart hourly employers still have time to execute savvy summer hiring strategies, if they act fast. The survey shows an increase in the amount of employers that anticipate having their summer positions filled by Memorial Day. Seventy percent of those surveyed expect their summer hiring will be completed in either April or May, whereas only sixty four percent anticipated the same last year. This suggests that the vast majority of hiring will occur over the next several weeks.
We’ll talk more next week about how hourly employers are staying competitive in a tight summer market, but it’s worth mentioning that summer pay is expected to increase this year. In 2016, the average wage for an hourly summer hire is $12.75/hour. This represents a 10 percent increase over 2015 and a 23 percent increase over the average reported in 2014. And with the average summer worker expected to clock in 28 hours a week, that’s a lot for employers to budget.
Check out the infographic of the results here. Next week, we’ll post more analysis of the 2016 survey and stay informed about the big trends in this important season!