VIENNA, Va., Nov. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Historically, many on the job hunt have thrown in the towel from Thanksgiving through the New Year — focusing on the holidays rather than the job search. Data indicates that continued job-search efforts could pay off due to the surge in applicants come January when the competition heats. In fact, the number of people looking for a new job jumps by 30 to 33 percent in January, while the number of jobs stays steady. Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161121/441835 Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161121/441833LOGO "Utilizing data gathered over the last six years from multiple job sites, including CareerBuilder and Indeed, we see this trend continuing year after year," said Carolyn Thompson, Principal of the Merito Group, where she leads a team that performs executive search, contract labor placement, executive coaching, RPO and human resources consulting services. Human resources recruiters are often challenged to find the right candidates when they're determined to fill remaining openings by Dec. 31. Based on previous years' data, the supply of applicants dwindles as the holidays approach — especially during the week before Christmas and through New Years Day. "Companies have jobs to fill — and many want to fill them by the end of the year. The truth of the matter is that job seekers have less competition at the end of the year," Thompson said. "We advise job seekers not to wait until January. Use November and December to your advantage. While hiring continues in January, our data shows the number of jobs available remains steady from November through February. With more candidates on the market in the new year, getting in the door and through the vetting process beforehand could make a real difference when it comes to getting a job."