Employers respond to the holiday season each year by adding workers to meet increased demand. While some of those seasonal jobs can certainly make this time of year merrier, others are the labor force equivalent of a lump of coal in your stocking.
The best seasonal jobs help you spread cheer through significant paychecks, while others provide work well after all the decorative lights have come down. However, some holiday jobs can turn ho-ho-ho into ho-ho-humbug.
Holiday hiring estimates point to 3% more jobs this season than last, reports the Department of Labor, so there are gigs to be had for those seeking seasonal employment. But distinguishing the desirable from the disastrous requires a list not unlike Santa Claus’s rundown of the naughty and nice.
Using criteria from our Jobs Rated reports, here are this holiday season's best and worst jobs:
1. Santa Claus
The star of the season is in high demand. Of course, Jolly Old Saint Nick can’t be everywhere at once, so programs like Noerr Program Corporation’s Santa University trains helpers to fill in for the big guy. Becoming a Santa Claus stand-in can pay handsomely. One PayScale estimate says top Clauses can earn over $100 an hour, a pricey investment with significant returns seen in the money spent in surrounding stores. In addition, the gig often starts before Thanksgiving and lasts a solid six weeks, so total earnings can be impressive.