End of Year Job Search?

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End of Year Uptick in Jobs Search The last 3 years Google Trends shows a huge spike in searches for the keyword “jobs” in late December. From the graph it looks like this jump comes after the holiday gift giving search traffic bottoms out. In fact, it looks like the increase in job search traffic starts on December 26th (this is just a guess concocted from comparing this graph to some graphs of holiday related search traffic) and peaks just a few days into January. So for about a week, there is an extremely sharp jump in search traffic for jobs, then it levels off throughout the year. There also appears to be a significant, but relatively steady drop in job search traffic during the Fall, before the sharp upward spike happens again just after Christmas. Can anybody explain this?

One explanation that I considered is that people might increasingly look for part-time jobs during the holiday, or kids home from college might look for a job to fill up their free time. Because the search traffic doesn’t start to increase until after Christmas, I’d say these explanations are improbably.

Other explanations that I think have more merit:

  • People make New Year’s resolutions to get a job.
  • Holiday spenders need to get a job to pay off their credit card bills after Christmas gift buying.
  • Unhappy workers finally have time off between Christmas and New Years to start a job search.
  • Holiday stress and pressure from being around family pushes people to try to find a job.
  • Job seekers stop their search between Thanksgiving and Christmas because of a perception that hiring doesn’t happen during that time. The drop in search traffic before Christmas supports this theory.

Any other theories? How can recruiters take advantage of this spike in search traffic? Please leave your thoughts in the comments.

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One response to “End of Year Job Search?”

  1. aeg1011 says:

    I think that people tend to use the Calendar Year as a benchmark (rather than a fiscal year). At a benchmark, people tend to evaluate (and re-evaluate) their lives, so it makes sense that someone would seek newer, better, more exciting jobs during this time.

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