Seasonal unemployment is a specific sub set of unemployment that develops when a particular labor market is unable to match the supply for jobs with the corresponding demand. Seasonal unemployment is closely related to both structural and frictional unemployment. Whereas frictional unemployment is temporary, and structural unemployment is of a longer duration, seasonal unemployment is different in that it affects segments of a population for a specific, regularly recurring period of time each year.
Common examples of seasonal unemployment include the fact that school bus drivers may experience unemployment when school is out of session, even if they have a promise of continued or renewed employment when the school year begins again the following year. Seasonal unemployment can also include construction workers who can have difficulty finding construction jobs or projects when the weather turns colder. Migrant farm work may cause individuals to be out of work for a specific period of time, even if there is an expectation that the workers will be able to find work if they move to work at another place that will need their work skills.
Seasonal unemployment figures do not account for individuals who have taken seasonal jobs in order to obtain any income even if they prefer jobs that are permanent or full time.
Most unemployment figures account for predictable unemployment by excluding seasonal jobs that typically experience cyclical levels of employment. An unemployment measure that accounts for these seasonal unemployment figures is said to have used “seasonal adjustment techniques.