Written by Andrea Rangel, GEI Associate
Econintersect: According to the data presented by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the teen summer job market could be the strongest since 2007. The reason is an increase in the number of teenagers employed during May and June 2012 compared to the ones hired during the same months in 2011. In the last five years, the average teen hiring during July was 367,000. If July reaches that average, the 2012 summer hiring increase for teenagers will be 27 percent greater than 2011. This would be even much larger than next best previous increase of 15.4 percent last year. The data presented shows that the average hiring growth has been -3.6 percent (199-2011) and for the past five years (2007-2011) the average growth per year has been even weaker, -7.7 percent. However, the 2012 summer will potentially exceed the year-to-year growth record in number of teen jobs.
The number of employed 16-to 19-year-olds expanded by 858,000 in June, 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 hred 1,1015,000 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.
John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said,
"Unless there is a major spike in hiring this month, it remains 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,"
According to Challenger, it is not too late for teenagers to find employment. Challenger noted,
"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 a 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."
"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 restaurans and into the movie theathers to find the job openings."
If the number of jobs does fall in the anticipated 350,000 to 400,000 range, 2012 will still rank only 9th of the most recent 15 years for teenage summer jobs growth. But it would become the top year in the latest 5 years.
Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas.