Seasonal employment market more challenging for teens

Summer jobs announcement

Summer jobs for teens are already filling up - and are more difficult to find. Image: alovesdc / Flickr / CC-BY

Getting a summer job has long been a rite of passage for teens. For many this year, summer job hunts are proving more difficult than ever. Recent polls indicate that hiring managers plan on filling summer jobs by the end of this month.

Teen employment becoming more difficult

The U.S. Government started keeping specific statistics on teen employment in 1948. The government statistics track individuals 16 to 24 years old and their seasonal employment. During the summer of 2010, seasonal teen employment was the lowest it had ever been. The summer of 2011 is expected to show similar rates, with unemployment among young people expected to be between 25 and 30 percent over the summer months. This high unemployment rate is due to several factors – fewer available jobs, more available workers and many jobs being filled by employees that fall outside the 16-to-24 age range.

Jobs being filled earlier by those with more education

Many hiring managers in charge of filling summer positions are choosing to hire earlier than ever. In fact, one poll by teen hiring specialist website SnagAJob found that 43 percent of hiring managers planned on filling their seasonal jobs by the end of this month. Many full-time seasonal jobs are also being filled by employees hired as part-time until school lets out for the summer. Only about 33 percent of individuals with a high school diploma or less are able to find employment, while approximately 66 percent of college graduates are employed.

Improving the employment outlook

Teen or not, looking for a job nowadays is exceptionally tough. The number of applications for unemployment benefits are going down, but that may not necessarily be the result of more jobs. Underemployment and those who use up all available unemployment funds reduce the number of new applications for unemployment. For many long-term unemployed workers and teens, volunteering and other non-paid employment are both proving good paths to eventual jobs. But if you are seeking summer employment, now is the time to put your search into high gear.


Bureau of Labor Statistics

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