The summer hiring season for teenage workers got off to a much better start this year than last. Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. reported Friday morning that 130,000 teens found a job in May, an increase of 73% compared to the 75,000 who found jobs in May of last year.
May is the traditional beginning of the summer-job hiring period. According to Chicago-based Challenger, the number of teens who find summer employment has averaged 1.3 million annually since 2006.
Challenger’s report notes that last May’s hiring total was 52% below the May 2016 total of 156,000, so there is still some catching up to do.
The company’s vice president, Andrew Challenger, commented:
May’s total is more in line with what we expect in terms of job gains. However, unless we see another huge June number that carries into July, we won’t see job gains much higher than last year. Teens continue to explore other opportunities outside of paid employment. While this could help with college resumes, it likely will not build the soft skills and work experience employers like to see from entry-level workers.
Last summer 1.023 million teens found jobs in June, the most since 2007, however, the July total was a meager 190,000, the lowest July total on record.
The number of teenagers who are expected to find jobs this summer is forecast to be in-line with the 1.288 million teens who found jobs in the summer of 2017. Last year’s total was down 3.8% year over year and down more than 25% compared to teens with summer jobs in 2006 when 1.734 million had summer jobs.