A job might be all unemployed Australians want for Christmas — and Santa looks to have delivered the goods early.
Many more Christmas jobs are on offer this year than in 2019, according to employment site Indeed.
Indeed, APAC economist Callam Pickering said job ads as a share of overall job postings in early October were two-thirds higher than at the same time last year.
“There are more Christmas jobs this year than last year – significantly more,” he said.
But there were fewer overall job postings this year due to the pandemic.
Most of the Christmas roles are part-time casual positions in the retail sector.
Cotton On, Hanes Brands (including Bonds and Sheridan) and The Just Group (brands such as Just Jeans and Peter Alexander) posted the most Christmas job ads between August and mid-November.
Mr Pickering said Christmas job postings were up for every Australian state, with Victoria seeing the biggest change since last year.
“Retailers are certainly optimistic across the country about Christmas spending,” he said.
Retail trade climbed an estimated $460.5 million, or 1.6 per cent, in October, according to seasonally adjusted preliminary figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics released on Friday.
Trade was up 7.3 per cent on the same time last year.
Cafes and restaurants led the charge, and clothing, footwear and personal accessories also rose, while household goods flatlined.
“Retailers are safe and prepared, and ready for shoppers to return for a Christmas like no other,” Australian Retailers Association (ARA) chief executive Paul Zahra said.
“Every dollar spent is a dollar towards supporting a job, a struggling business, and a retail recovery that is critical to our wider economic recovery.”
The latest consumer confidence figures also indicate Australians are feeling more upbeat about the economy ahead of the festive season.
Consumer confidence on Tuesday recovered to its highest level since February after rising for the 11th consecutive week.
ANZ head of Australian economics David Plank said the news about Pfizer’s promising vaccine trial “no doubt played a major role” in delivering a sizeable boost to confidence.
The strong result points to a potentially strong Christmas season ahead for retailers,” he said.
It came after the Westpac-Melbourne Institute consumer sentiment index rose by 2.5 per cent, its third monthly rise in a row.
The Westpac survey revealed Australians were planning for a “normal’ Christmas in terms of how much they plan to spend on gifts.
“Given the high degree of uncertainty this Christmas, and the headwinds from the high unemployment rate, it is a very encouraging sign that Australians are planning for a normal Christmas,” Westpac chief economist Bill Evans said at the time.
Meanwhile, on the overall jobs front, almost 180,000 people found work in October as COVID-19 restrictions eased and businesses reopened, according to ABS figures released on Thursday.
But Mr Pickering said the labour market is 1.7 per cent lower than before the pandemic.
“It’s still a really tough environment for job seekers,” he said.
Official government data updated on Friday shows 1.35 million Australians are receiving the unemployment benefit JobSeeker.