Teen Summer Hiring Rises 8% This Year

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The summer hiring season for teenage workers rose 7.8% year over year in 2018 to 1.39 million jobs. The summer job season got off to a good start in May with a boost of 55,000 more hires than in May 2017, then slipped by 72,000 year over year in June, only to close the hiring season with an increase of 117,000 jobs in July.

Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported the data Tuesday morning, noting the 62% year-over-year jump in July was partly due to retailers hiring more workers early to get ready for the 2018 holiday season.

According to Challenger, the number of teens who found summer employment this year topped the average of 1.3 million annually since 2006.

The firm’s vice-president, Andrew Challenger, commented:

While the participation rate among teenagers has averaged under 40 percent per year since the recession years, teens can certainly benefit from the tight labor market, especially as employers struggle to fill positions.

Last summer just 190,000 teens found jobs in July, the lowest total since 1998, when Challenger began keeping records. This year some 307,000 teens found jobs in July.

Last year’s total summer hiring of 1.29 million was down 3.8% year over year and down more than 25% compared to teens with summer jobs in 2006, when 1.73 million had summer jobs.

The total number of teenage summer hires has declined from a 1999 high of 2.02 million, with big drops in 2008 (down 29.4%) and 2000 (down 25.2%). The largest year-over-year gain came in 2012 when teen jobs rose 28.5%.

Challenger notes teens increasingly have chosen other options for how to spend their summers, including volunteering, summer school and travel.