Teen Employment Grew By 217,000 in May

June 9th, 2014
in econ_news, syndication

Teens Enjoy Best Summer Hiring Start in 8 Years

by Challenger Gray and Christmas

Teens seeking summer jobs got off to a strong start in May, as employment among 16- to 19-year-olds grew by 217,000 in May. That was the biggest May employment gain for teenagers in eight years. Last month’s employment gains among teens was a slight improvement over 2013, when 215,000 16- to 19-year-olds found jobs in May. The last time there was more hiring of teens in May was 2006, when 230,000 found jobs in first month of what is typically a three-month teen employment surge from May through July.

Follow up:

With May hiring, there are now 4,473,000 employed 16- to 19-year-olds, according to the data released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The peak of teen employment usually occurs in July, and then begins to fall in August as many begin returning to school.

Last year, teen employment peaked at 5,143,000 in July, after employers added a total of 1,355,000 16-to 19-year-olds in May, June and July. The total number of teens finding work last summer was down about 3.0 percent from the previous year, when employment in this age group grew by 1,397,000.

In its annual teen summer job outlook, Challenger estimated that summer employment gains among teens would be about the same as last year. The strong start notwithstanding, June hiring will provide the best indicator of how this year’s teen summer job market stacks up against previous summers. Says John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas

Teen hiring got off to a strong start last year, but then fell off in June and July, compared to the previous year. So, it is a little too early to say how young job seekers will fare this year. The job market is improving, but there is still a lot of competition for job openings, not only with fellow teens, but with recent college graduates and job seekers with experience.

Another factor that could temper teen hiring this summer, is an unusual hiring surge among teens that occurred earlier this year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of employed teenagers increased by 323,000 in March and April. That is more than double the 143,000 added during the same two-month period in 2013. In fact, over the previous 10 years, teen employment gains in March and April have averaged just 55,000. Challenger continues:

It is difficult to pinpoint why this earlier hiring push occurred and whether those jobs will continue through the summer months, but it could mean that many jobs typically filled by teenagers are already taken. However, even if that is the case, there are likely to be many job opportunities that still exist for young people. If hiring remains on par with last year, we can still expect to see around 1.3 million teens find employment this summer.

While many summer jobs have already been filled, it is never too late to start or renew one’s job search. There usually is high turnover in the types of jobs occupied by teenagers. Retail, restaurant service, amusement parks, etc., may continue hiring throughout the summer to replace people who quit or were let go for whatever reason. Do not be afraid to return to employers that may have already turned you down for a job in previous efforts. Lastly, look for opportunities to sub in for workers who may be taking summer trips with their family. If you can get a referral from a current worker, it could ease your way into the position.

SUMMER EMPLOYMENT GROWTH AMONG 16- TO 19-YEAR-OLDS

Year

May

June

July

Summer Jobs Gained

Change from Prior Year

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

382,000

1,397,000

28.5%

2013

215,000

779,000

361,000

1,355,000

-3.0%

2014

217,000









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