Teens searching for jobs this summer may have caught a lucky break. Although teen summer job rates have been at historic lows in recent years, Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a Chicago job placement firm that releases summer job outlook every year, predicted a significant increase in teen hiring this summer.
However, the same firm suggests that the increase in job openings is not going to make it any easier to get hired. More teens are applying for jobs this summer than in previous years.
“I got my life guard license and secured a job pretty easily,” said junior Wally Harmon, “but others seem to have a harder time.”
Teens interested in finding a job should start applying as soon as possible.
“I applied in April of this year for my water polo coaching job for the American River Water Polo Club,” said senior Michael Woodbury. “It took them a month to get back to me and hire me, but it wasn’t too difficult.”
According to a report by the employment network Snagajob, 79 percent of summer jobs will be filled by the end of May, with 13 percent of hiring managers already having filled their positions as of now.
The report, which was released by employment network Snagajob, surveyed more than 1,000 hiring managers and found a six percent increase in the number of managers who think that teens now have a more even playing field in the job market. 30 percent of hiring managers surveyed also believe it will be easy for teens to secure a job this summer, up nearly 10 percent from two years ago.
Others are less optimistic about the teen job market. While the national unemployment rate has fallen to 8.3 percent, reports CNN Money, the rate for youths ages 16-19 as remained above 20 percent for 40 consecutive months.
2010 and 2011 had the lowest rates of teen summer unemployment since World War II, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
A major concern, however, is the continuing gap in unemployment between caucasian and minority teenagers. As of February, the unemployment rate for Hispanics age 16 to 19 was 27.5 percent, and 34.7 percent for African-Americans.
While there is still a lot of uncertainty in the job market, there are ways to improve your chances of being selected for a position. For instance, students should reiterate their flexibility in the hours they can work to potential employers. A positive, can-do attitude, as well as prior job experience, are other important factors to emphasize in an interview. Experts also encourage teens to reach out to friends, loved ones and previous employers for leads on job openings, as well as prepare a list of references to present to a potential employer should an opportunity arise.