Seasonal Unemployment: Definition, Causes & Effects

Sarhan Basem

Brussels (Brussels Morning Newspaper) – Having a seasonal job can offer exciting opportunities as it allows you to work in special settings. It makes it possible for people to perform job duties that are related to the specific time of the year. Seasonal jobs come in during a certain part of the year, and the employees can work primarily in seasonal positions. 

In such times the employees might face seasonal unemployment when a job’s season ends. It is important to know how seasonal unemployment works and this allows the employees to prepare for the timeframe of a seasonal job. You can also make plans about doing some productive when a seasonal opportunity ends.

What Is Seasonal Unemployment?

Seasonal unemployment refers to a time when people working in seasonal jobs become unemployed. This happens when the demand for labor decreases. Many people get unemployed when a specific time of year ends. 

When a new season begins or there is a holiday season many people lose their jobs due to certain factors. Due to weather changes seasonal unemployment also occurs. For example, if someone works at a resort during the summer they might experience unemployment when the fall arrives and summer facilities are about to close.

Seasonal unemployment can take place in locations that see high volumes of tourists. Some tourist attractions close or slow their operations at different times of year and seasons. Seasonal unemployment is a big problem in tourist sectors as the tourist attractions that exist outdoors, are not able to operate during certain types of weather.

Causes Of Seasonal Unemployment 

Many causes lead to seasonal employment. Here are some major reasons behind seasonal unemployment:

1.Weather Conditions 

Weather changes can be a big cause of seasonal unemployment. Unemployment is high in the tourist sector. Outdoor places are unable to operate because of bad weather conditions. This can lead to unemployment in the sector.

2. Lack Of Industries 

In many undeveloped countries, there is a lack of an industrial sector. Not much is spent on the construction and building of the industries. This can lead to lower demand for labor, especially in rural areas. Urban areas in most countries are packed with industries.

 This is where the business flourish and there are more employment options. However, it is the complete opposite in rural areas. In rural areas, seasonal unemployment occurs often because there are fewer industries which can lead to a lack of job opportunities.

3. Lack Of Commercialization Of Agriculture

The agricultural sector is seasonal as many crops grow only in certain seasons. Technologies and other advanced measures are not taken by most countries to make the agricultural sector work all through the year. This can lead to seasonal unemployment in many underdeveloped countries in the world.

4. Decrease In Demand For Labor 

Seasonal unemployment often occurs when people become unemployed due to the reduced demand for labor. This can occur during a specific time of the year. The demand for labor often decreases when a year ends or a new season begins.

Effects Of Seasonal Unemployment 

There are several serious effects that a person might face in seasonal unemployment:


Being unemployed can lead to depression. When people don’t have any source of income they often feel stressed out. This can lead to serious mental health conditions like anxiety and depression.

2. Low Self-Esteem

Low self-esteem is one of the major problems that unemployed people can experience. People who get unemployed might not have any confidence left in themselves. They feel that they are not worthy of any good opportunity because they are useless.

3. Mental health issues

Staying in depression for a long time can lead to serious mental health issues. If a person needs a job and is unable to find one, then he/she might end up getting mentally sick. Tension can occur and this can lead to serious mental and physical problems.

4. Reduced Income

People who experience seasonal unemployment have reduced income. The saving amount might not be sufficient to live a comfortable life anymore.

5. Negative Familial Effects

Reduced income can cause a rift between families. If you are the only breadwinner of the family and are unable to earn money, then you might get in conflict with your loved ones. This causes restlessness in your home. You might fight with your family often because there is a lack of money in your home.  

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6. Health Problems

Seasonal unemployment doesn’t only lead to mental health problems. You can also face several physical issues because your body can also get sick due to continuous stress.

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Brussels Morning is a daily online newspaper based in Belgium. BM publishes unique and independent coverage on international and European affairs. With a Europe-wide perspective, BM covers policies and politics of the EU, significant Member State developments, and looks at the international agenda with a European perspective.
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Sarhan Basem is Brussels Morning's Senior Correspondent to the European Parliament. With a Bachelor's degree in English Literature, Sarhan brings a unique blend of linguistic finesse and analytical prowess to his reporting. Specializing in foreign affairs, human rights, civil liberties, and security issues, he delves deep into the intricacies of global politics to provide insightful commentary and in-depth coverage. Beyond the world of journalism, Sarhan is an avid traveler, exploring new cultures and cuisines, and enjoys unwinding with a good book or indulging in outdoor adventures whenever possible.