With unemployment having dropped to a ten-year low of 4.4% last month, the market for summer seasonal jobs holds many opportunities for teens. According to a press release by outplacement and career transitioning firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas, last year brought the highest teen employment numbers since 2013, with 1,335,000 teen finding summer seasonal jobs. Last summer also had the highest employment numbers for teens between ages 16 and 19 since August 2008. With the job market continuing to improve in 2017, we are likely to see even more gains this summer. Here is a snapshot of what the 2017 summer seasonal job market is looking like for teens:
Retail Jobs May Be Harder to Find This Summer
With online shopping becoming more dominant, teens may have more difficulty this year finding summer seasonal jobs in traditional retail stores. The release from Challenger, Gray and Christmas reported that retailers nixed 34,000 in-store retail jobs in the months of January and February 2017 alone. It’s looking like if traditional retailers do hire this summer, many of the openings will probably be later in the summer to support back-to-school shopping demands.
That doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of other opportunities for summer seasonal jobs for teens. Challenger, Gray and Christmas reported that economic growth has produced summer seasonal job openings in industries such as transportation, food service and construction. In the release, CEO John Challenger stated that “Construction has added over 170,000 jobs in the last six months. This is an area typically left unexplored by teen workers.” Fast food is another great option for seasonal teen jobs. In an article The Fast Food Industry: A Good First Job high school student Jamie Stanislawski discusses the benefits fast food jobs have to offer to high school students. “Fast-food restaurants typically hire teenagers, so they understand that they’re busy.” On top of flexible scheduling to help accommodate schoolwork and extracurricular activities, fast food jobs teach many valuable skills to young workers, such as people skills, math skills and time management.
Jobs Once Occupied by College Grads and Senior Citizens Now Open to Teens
Improvements in the job market has given more American adults full-time job opportunities recently. “We’ve seen a drop in workers who are working part-time for economic reasons, from 6.1 million last year to 5.7 million in February, and those positions may be well-suited to teen workers,” says John Challenger. This means less college graduates and retirees are taking part-time jobs in sectors such as food service and retail to supplement their income. Also, improvements in the economy are allowing many retirees to get more out of their 401k plans. Since these parts of the population have better financial and employment situations, that leaves more part time summer seasonal jobs for teens.
Tips for Teens Seeking Summer Employment
If you are a teen who is still in the market for a summer seasonal job, here are a couple tips:
- Seek out industries that get busier in the summer, such as hotels, resorts, amusement parks, ice cream shops and golf courses.
- If you find a local company you are interested, apply online if they require it and then show up in person to introduce yourself. Not only will this allow managers to put a face to your application, it will show more motivation on your part.
- Go beyond just looking at online job postings and network with family, friends and people in your community. You may get first dibs on jobs that haven’t even been posted yet.
Many teens need income for current needs such as clothing, recreation, cell phone bills and gas in their cars. But with college becoming more expensive, many teens want to work so they can start saving for their futures. An improving economy and job market means brighter futures for America’s teens.
Click below for summer seasonal jobs in:
Author: Jessica Cody
Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. Currently, she works at VHMNetwork LLC in the role of Marketing Analyst. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.