Teen Hiring Strongest Since 2007

The number of employed 16- to 19-year-olds expanded by 858,000 in June, making this the strongest summer hiring surge teenagers have seen since 2007, according to an analysis of government jobs data by global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.  June employment gains among teens were 22 percent greater than a year ago, when 714,000 16- to 19-year-olds joined the workforce.

Non-seasonally adjusted data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that employers have now hired 1,015,000 teens since May 1, up 29 percent from 785,000 teen jobs added in May and June 2011.  The 1,015,000 teen employment gains so far this year are just 72,000 shy of last year’s three-month summer teen hiring total of 1,087,000.  Last year, 302,000 teens found employment in July and, since 2008, July employment gains have averaged 367,000, despite a weak economy.  So, it is highly likely that this year’s summer job gains among teenagers will far surpass the 2011 hiring season.

In a teen summer hiring outlook released by Challenger last April, employment among teenagers was expected to increase over 2011’s better-than-expected gains.

“Unless there is a major spike in hiring this month, it remains likely that this year’s teen employment gains will fall short of pre-recession levels.  Employers would have to add more than 500,000 teens to their payrolls in July to even match the 1,635,000 summer jobs added in 2007.  That being said, this year’s summer job market certainly represents a vast improvement over the last four years of anemic summer hiring,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

According to Challenger, it is not too late for teenagers to find employment.  “Many of the businesses that have the need for extra workers in the summer months, such as retailers, restaurants, camps, amusement parks, etc., tend to experience higher-than-average turnover.  Teens who were seeking employment back in May and June should not hesitate to go back to employers who originally said no,” said Challenger.

“Additionally, some employers may want workers to stay on through the fall and winter, but many teens may decline these opportunities to focus on school and/or extracurricular activities.  If you are in a position to keep working, you might be able to take the spot of someone who is leaving.  One thing to keep in mind, however, is that these late-season opportunities are unlikely to appear in online job boards or in the newspapers classifies section.  It is important to get out from behind the computer and go into the stores, into the restaurants and into the movie theaters to find the job openings,” noted Challenger.

SUMMER EMPLOYMENT GROWTH AMONG 16- TO 19-YEAR OLDS

Year

May

June

July

Summer Jobs Gained

Change from Prior Year

1998

270,000

1,058,000

675,000

2,003,000

 
1999

415,000

750,000

852,000

2,017,000

0.7%

2000

111,000

1,087,000

311,000

1,509,000

-25.2%

2001

58,000

1,124,000

560,000

1,742,000

15.4%

2002

161,000

985,000

510,000

1,656,000

-4.9%

2003

152,000

859,000

458,000

1,469,000

-11.3%

2004

168,000

827,000

597,000

1,592,000

8.4%

2005

183,000

1,007,000

546,000

1,736,000

9.0%

2006

230,000

1,033,000

471,000

1,734,000

-0.1%

2007

62,000

1,114,000

459,000

1,635,000

-5.7%

2008

116,000

683,000

355,000

1,154,000

-29.4%

2009

111,000

698,000

354,000

1,163,000

0.8%

2010

6,000

497,000

457,000

960,000

-17.5%

2011

71,000

714,000

302,000

1,087,000

13.2%

2012

157,000

858,000

 

1,015,000

 

 

Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. with non-seasonally adjusted data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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