What Is Seasonal Unemployment? Definition and Examples

Seasonal Unemployment I A Level and IB Economics

What is seasonal unemployment?

People who hold seasonal employment may experience seasonal unemployment when there is a decline in demand for labor. This usually happens when a particular season ends or a new one begins, for a holiday or because of weather changes. For instance, if a person works at a resort during the summer, they may lose their job when fall comes and the facilities are forced to close.

Many tourist destinations experience seasonal unemployment because various attractions may close or scale back operations according to the time of year and season. This is particularly true for outdoor tourist attractions since they might only be able to run in specific weather conditions.

What is a seasonal job?

Any position that is only available during a certain time of year is considered a seasonal job. During the holidays, there are a lot of seasonal jobs available because themed attractions and events need staff. Additionally, there are jobs that are only available during certain weather seasons, such as those in agriculture and tourism. These positions may entail performing manual labor, performing sales work, and providing customer service. There are seasonal jobs with full-time hours available, though many only offer part-time employment. Here are a few examples of seasonal jobs:

How does seasonal unemployment work?

According to the time of year, seasonal unemployment works by ensuring that the number of jobs available matches an organization’s need for employees. This means that during some seasons, a business may require more workers than during others, which may lead to seasonal unemployment when the more lucrative season ends. Employees who hold jobs that are directly related to a particular season or event are let go and forced to look for new employment opportunities when seasonal unemployment occurs.

Some people switch to a new seasonal job every time a season changes in order to continue working seasonally and quickly find new employment as a response to seasonal unemployment.

Benefits of seasonal unemployment

The fact that seasonal unemployment is typically predictable is one of its most obvious advantages. Employees who are likely to work seasonal jobs understand that their positions are temporary and may even know when they will end, which can help them get ready to look for other employment when it is necessary. Another advantage is that seasonal jobs typically start up again at a predictable time because seasonal unemployment only happens when a season ends or during a time when seasonal help is not needed.

Knowing when a season ends can also tell candidates when another season begins, which can help seasonal workers plan their job searches. For instance, a person who works at a Halloween store in the fall may become unemployed once the fall season is over, but they can make plans to switch to a seasonal job related to winter or a winter holiday since they are aware of its impending arrival.

Examples of seasonal unemployment

Consider these examples of seasonal unemployment:

Agriculture example

While home from college, Jared spends the summer working for a local farmer. He must water the crops, harvest and clean the crops, and prepare orders to take to the farmers market as part of his job. The farmers market, which runs through the last week of August, is also run by Jared. Jared anticipates going into seasonal employment after the summer because the farm only produces crops that are grown during the summer months.

Jared can get ready to start looking for a new job closer to his college in the first week of September because he is aware that the farmers market closes during the last week of August.

Holiday example

An attraction called Winter Wonderland hires Lucia, a professional actress, as a holiday performer. Her job entails creating a character with a holiday-related backstory, visiting visitors in the park, and taking pictures and videos of those who request them. Lucia knows from the interview where she was hired that the Winter Wonderland attraction is typically open from the last week of November until the first week of January.

When Winter Wonderland closes, Lucia will be out of work for the first week of January, so she begins looking for her next acting role in December.

Theme park example

Every summer, Wanda works at the theme park Thrill City, which features roller coasters, carnival games, a variety of dining establishments, and opportunities to interact with character actors. A roller coaster that transports riders through water rapids to cool off during the hot summer months is operated by Wanda as one of the park’s water rides. The park at Thrill City, however, closes in the final week of October and its water rides in the last week of August.

Wanda can change roles at Thrill City when her ride shuts down in August, but she might encounter temporary employment when the park closes in October. Wanda can start her job search in October in order to be ready for when her seasonal position ends.


What do mean by seasonal unemployment?

People who hold seasonal employment may experience seasonal unemployment when there is a decline in demand for labor. This usually happens when a particular season ends or a new one begins, for a holiday or because of weather changes.

Why is seasonal unemployment Good?

Ski instructors, ice cream vendors, and resort workers are among the workers impacted by seasonal unemployment. It could also include people who harvest crops. In most of the country, construction workers are laid off during the winter. School employees can also be considered seasonal workers.

What is the difference between in unemployment and seasonal unemployment?

Because seasonal unemployment is a result of the “conditions of employment,” it benefits. Weekends, holidays, and two-week vacations are “part of the job,” just as seasonal unemployment is for the majority of occupations.

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