What Is Seasonal Unemployment? Example, Benefit, 8 Facts

A seasonal employment may be fulfilling since it allows you to work in different surroundings and undertake duties that are more closely tied to the season.

Employees whose principal source of income is seasonal labor may find themselves unemployed after the season is through.

Understanding the characteristics of seasonal unemployment may be important in order to prepare ahead for the duration of a seasonal work and the measures to take once it expires.

In this article, we shall define seasonal unemployment and explain how it arises.

What Is A Seasonal Job?

Seasonal work is defined as any job that occurs only at a specific time of year. Because many tourist attractions and special events are only open during the Christmas season, seasonal labor are in high demand.

In addition, businesses such as agriculture and tourism recruit personnel on a seasonal basis, depending on the weather.

Jobs in this industry might range from dealing with consumers to selling to performing to doing physical labor. Many seasonal jobs are part-time, however full-time seasonal jobs are also available. Some popular seasonal jobs include:

What Is Seasonal Unemployment?

  • Seasonal sales associate

  • Holiday performer

  • Lifeguard

  • Theme park employee

  • Seasonal event staff

What Is Seasonal Unemployment?

People who rely on seasonal jobs are frequently affected by seasonal unemployment when labor demand falls. This is a frequent practice anytime a season changes, whether for the calendar or the environment.

For example, if you work at a resort during the summer, you may find yourself unemployed when September arrives and the resort closes.

Seasonal unemployment may be higher in high-visitor-density locations because attractions that rely on those tourists may close or limit hours of operation at various periods of the year. This is especially true for outdoor tourist attractions that may be closed due to inclement weather.

Understanding Seasonal Unemployment

Structured and Generally Predictable Schedule

Unemployment that arises at various times of the year is typically predictable. Workers almost always accept such roles with the knowledge that they are just temporary.

Although the process is cyclical by design, most layoffs take place on a set day. Most people in these jobs are certain that they will always have a job waiting for them, and they seldom need to reapply. When the season starts up again, so do the jobs.

Weather-Related Joblessness

The dependency of various sectors on specific environmental conditions is a primary source of seasonal joblessness. Snowplow operators, ski patrol, lifeguards, and beach managers are just a few examples of similar occupations. This can also involve construction work and exterior painting.

Tourism and Seasonal Travel Scenarios

Many vocations in the tourism sector only function during the “busy” season of a certain place, leaving many people vulnerable to seasonal job loss. It’s no secret that peak season is much busier at many of the world’s most famous tourist destinations at certain times of the year.

What Is Seasonal Unemployment?

Some of this is attributable to the time of year; summer is frequently the busiest, but the majority is due to weather patterns. Fewer people visit regions that endure these extremes during the rainy and hot months. Even during “low” seasons, hotels and resorts will often maintain a minimal personnel level.

Theatrical and Other Limited-Run Employees

Seasonal jobs are widespread in the entertainment business, particularly among actors, singers, and sports. Some theaters even open their doors between shows, so not all have “dark” intervals. The same may be said about orchestras, symphonies, and other musical groups.

Furthermore, professional sportsmen frequently have spells of unemployment during the off season. Because of their high wages during games, prominent athletes seldom face this problem.

Resting during the off-season is necessary, but it may be costly for amateurs or those attempting to break into the professional leagues.

School Employees

Teachers are among the most renowned people who do not face seasonal unemployment. Teachers frequently work exclusively throughout the school year, leaving them with virtually no spare time during the summers.

Teachers, on the other hand, are not laid off or deemed “unemployed” in the months preceding the summer vacation. Despite the fact that instructors are not in the classroom over the summer, many school districts distribute teacher wages so that they are paid.

Although teachers and principals are included in this group, school bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and librarians are frequently excluded. Seasonal unemployment affects many jobs of this type, but it varies widely by location and by regulation.

Possibility of Unemployment Benefits

During the seasons when seasonal employees are not working, the government often offers unemployment compensation. The availability of benefits is exclusively governed by the jurisdiction in which one resides.

Seasonal employees may be ineligible for any benefits in certain places, while in others they may get significantly less than those given to long-term unemployed.

What Is Seasonal Unemployment?

When publicizing unemployment numbers, governments often distinguish between seasonal and year-round joblessness so that statistics correctly depict the number of those actively seeking work rather than those actively seeking work but unable to find it.

How Does Seasonal Unemployment Work?

Seasonal unemployment is intended to balance the number of available jobs with the demand for employees in a particular industry at any given time of year. As a result, seasonal unemployment can develop when a company’s need for more workers coincides with the end of a particularly prosperous season.

Employees whose jobs are related to a certain season or event may be laid off during periods of seasonal unemployment, forcing them to hunt for work elsewhere.

Some people will simply switch to a new seasonal employment during the next season if they are out of work during one season.

Benefits Of Seasonal Unemployment

Unemployment varies with the seasons, and these variations are typically predictable.

When employees take seasonal work, they are aware that their position is transitory and that they would be out of work after a certain period of time. As a result, in-kind compensation will be paid.

It’s better than full-year unemployment since people may still earn money during the year. As a result, it is an essential talent for a wide range of jobs.

Many people chose seasonal jobs because they have something more essential to do during the off season. Many individuals do activities over the summer that they would not do if they worked year-round, such as occupations, hobbies, and so on.

While they may be working or studying somewhere the rest of the year, some professionals and students may see this time as an excellent opportunity to focus on skill development. Internships, temporary employment, and so on.

Examples of Seasonal Unemployment

The following are examples of seasonal joblessness:

Agriculture Example

Jared works for a local farmer during his summer break from college. Watering the fields, harvesting, sorting and cleaning the product, and packing orders to be transported to the local farmer’s market are all part of his job.

Jared also runs the farmer’s booth at the farmer’s market from now until the end of August. Because Jared can only gather summer crops, he expects to be unemployed after the season is through.

What Is Seasonal Unemployment?

Because the farmer’s market will conclude the last week of August, Jared may begin looking for a new job closer to his college in the first week of September.

Holiday Example

Lucia, an accomplished actress, is hired as a seasonal performer at the theme park Winter Wonderland.

In this role, she will need to create a persona with a backstory that corresponds with the season, then walk about the park conversing with people and, if desired, recording their photos or videos.

During her job interview, Lucia discovered that the Winter Wonderland attraction is typically open from the final week of November to the first week of January.

Lucia will be out of employment for the season unless she gets another acting position once Winter Wonderland closes in the first week of January, so she starts looking in December.

Theme Park Example

Every summer, Wanda works at Thrill City, a theme park with roller coasters, carnival games, a variety of dining options, and character meet-and-greet chances.

Wanda runs one of the amusement park’s water attractions, a roller coaster that takes passengers through a series of water rapids to keep them cool during the hot summer months.

Thrill City, on the other hand, closes in the last week of August and all of its water rides close in the last week of October.

Wanda will have no trouble finding a new job at Thrill City once her ride closes in August, but she may be out of work for the season when the park closes for good in October. Wanda may begin looking for new employment in October so that she will be ready to return to work when her seasonal job ends.

Limitations of Seasonal Unemployment

The following are the disadvantages of seasonal unemployment:

Seasonal unemployment has the same basic restriction as normal unemployment. When persons in the labor force are out of work, they frequently experience personal difficulties.

However, the employees are ultimately liable. Some people may be willing to do nothing throughout the seasonal jobless period, while others actively seek work elsewhere.

It has the same disadvantage of lower output as traditional unemployment. Businesses may be unable to offer consumers with the things they want when unemployment rates shift seasonally.

That, however, is not a disadvantage of seasonal joblessness. This is the cost of operating in a field that is entirely dependent on seasonal demand.

Although they are ready to work all year, such professionals may have difficulty obtaining tasks that are permanent or require a long-term commitment.

Seasonal Unemployment vs Disguised Unemployment

The distinction between seasonal and concealed joblessness is frequently disregarded. Let’s break down the differences between them so you can appreciate each one for what it is:

What Is Seasonal Unemployment?

Point of Difference Seasonal Unemployment Disguised Unemployment
Meaning It is a phenomenon where the workforce is unemployed for a part of the year. It occurs when the workforce does not contribute to their full potential or when the number of people is hired for a job than actually required.
Working Employed for a part of the year and unemployed or remains for the rest. Employed throughout.
Jobs It happens when people cannot find jobs for some months of a year. They appear to be employed but they have no productivity or very little productivity in this situation.
Example Farmers working on a seasonal crop have work before the season such as digging, sowing, planting, harvesting, threshing, fertility checks, etc. A field requires only 4 laborers while 6-7 are employed because of entire family is not employed elsewhere and working on the field.


In a seasonal economy, employers and employees agree to this arrangement since it is difficult to obtain trustworthy labor at other seasons. If no agreement is achieved before the agreed-upon deadline, the work force will be unemployed for the rest of the year.

It occurs when certain firms alter their production plans or slow down for a season due to circumstances such as weather, demand, and so on. Short-term undertakings, such as construction, may also have a role.

As previously stated, this is distinct from examples of “disguised unemployment,” in which more people work than are required.

As we can see, seasonal unemployment is exactly as horrible as any other type of joblessness, because unemployed workers have no method of earning enough money to survive.

However, as we’ve already seen, there are advantages to working part-time, such as the ability to follow personal interests and avoid total unemployment.

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