At the end of each school year, many college students try to find seasonal summer jobs. However, November’s business activity was at its strongest point in four months. In addition, many retailers started hiring for the upcoming holidays during August and September. This suggests that the best seasonal jobs this year are going to be available in the winter.
Working part-time while going to college is a great way to build your resume and make extra money. Yet, many students can’t do that, especially full-time enrollees who are occupied with hefty coursework. Because of this, they forget about the importance of gaining professional experience. This is certainly the case for students who go to college out of town and prefer to spend time with family during vacations.
The 2019/20 holiday period, however, is different. Apart from a growing economy, consumer spending tends to peak during Christmas and Thanksgiving. Just as importantly, college students will splurge cash on gifts, travel expenses, and Black Friday shopping. As a result, the best seasonal jobs are available in the winter. Busier times mean that employees will work more hours and, therefore, make more money. All of this, of course, comes with a minimal commitment when compared to the multi-month seasonal summer jobs.
Business Activity and the Best Seasonal Jobs
There are two main reasons why this holiday period will witness strong growth. Firstly, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates twice; once in July and another time in October. Consequently, businesses are borrowing money at a lower cost and investing their funds into operations (including jobs).
Secondly, trade relations between the United States and China are improving. Many manufacturers and retailers rely on Chinese-made products. The lack of tariff increases presents these firms with new ways to save money. Equally as important, their prices will go down and, therefore, more consumers can afford to make purchases.
During November, the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) was at 51.9 points. When the PMI is over 50 points, it indicates that the economy is growing because businesses are spending more on operations and jobs.
As a college student, you can take advantage of these changes to increase your income and grow credit. Unlike seasonal summer jobs, a busy Christmas holiday comes with higher wages and, at the same time, only a requires a few weeks of commitment.
In fact, decreased rates may also help you build credit. All together, you can buy products for cheap, utilize a low interest credit card, and grow your income.
PMI and Seasonal Summer Jobs
Between October and November of this year, the PMI only grow by one point (from 50.9 to 51.9). This expansion is relatively small. During the summer, for example, PMI increased by 1.7 points. It went from 50.9 in May to 52.6 in July, which is higher than November’s reading by almost an entire point.
However, it is important to keep in mind that interest rate and tariff changes take a while to impact the economy. Before borrowing or investing funds, companies must first spend some time on revising their finances and constructing spending plans.
In light of this, the economy and job market only felt these impacts recently. This will continue to be the case until at least January or February.
Just as importantly, regardless of tariff and interest rate policies, the winter holiday always witnesses a spike in consumption and hiring activities.
For example, PMI decreased between October and December of last year. Yet, many companies across different sectors posted record sales revenues during that period.
What If Things Go Wrong?
Between now and the end of the year, the possibility that the Federal Reserve will change its interest rate policy is minimal. Even if they do, they are more likely to cut rates than hike them.
In other words, your credit card interest payments are not going to be increase anytime soon. Having said that, tariffs and trade relations might go south.
Should you be worried? Those who are looking for summer seasonal jobs at the end of this school year should account for unexpected changes. However, the winter may still offer the best seasonal jobs, even if tariffs increase.
For a start, unpredictable geopolitical relations became the norm during the last two to three years. In many ways, businesses are used to it and the largest corporations already priced in potential turbulence.
Moreover, if the US and China don’t reach a trade agreement by the end of December, businesses will only feel the new tariffs after a few months, long after the holiday period passes by.
The Best Seasonal Jobs: Summer vs. Winter
The economy is on very fertile grounds when it comes to growth and increased hiring activity. Interest rate and trade policies can change, but any negative consequences are only going to be realized after we start the new year.
As of right now, students should start looking for temporary work during the Christmas period. Include that in your schedule, make a plan to balance it out with family time, and adjust the budget.
University goers have the opportunity to increase their earnings and lower debt payments this winter, even more so than through seasonal summer jobs.
In short, why wait for Santa’s present when you can get yourself three gifts in one package?