31 October 2016 - Janet Bird
The number of temporary Christmas jobs on offer this year is up by almost a quarter as preparations get underway for a bumper festive season.
Research by job search engine Adzuna.co.uk has revealed there are currently 21,000 temporary Christmas jobs still waiting to be filled across the country.
But while the number of temporary positions is 24 percent higher than last year, the study found many were paying considerably less than comparable jobs last year.
Indeed the average pay for the positions on offer has dropped from £11.50 per hour last year to £9.32 this Christmas.
The Royal Mail, Amazon, Sainsbury's and Marks & Spencer are the biggest seasonal recruiters and will collectively hire a staggering 70,000 people this festive season.
Luxury food retailer Waitrose has also just announced it is to recruit 5,000 temporary staff to deal with the expected Christmas shopping rush. While around half of the posts are expected to be filled by previous employees returning from university for the festive season, 2,500 new positions are still up for grabs.
The Adzuna study found London and the South-East have the largest number of temporary Christmas job vacancies, while Northern Ireland and Wales have the least.
Demand for Father Christmas and his helpers has gone up, with employers around the UK hunting for more than 600 jolly Santas - up 50 percent on last year's figures.
Other weird and wonderful jobs up for grabs include Christmas tree light fitters, reindeer grooms and Christmas jumper designers.