Teenagers Emerge as the Secret Weapon of the Summer Job Market, Cashing in on Higher Wages

USAToday presented a report analyzing recent data, highlighting the significant and unexpected role teenagers are playing in revitalizing the post-pandemic summer job market.

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Key Takeaways:

  • The summer job market for teenagers is expected to be the most dynamic in years, with the demographic set to make up nearly 20% of summer hires, a sharp rise from just 2% in 2019.
  • High demand and shortages in industries like hospitality and leisure have led to increased wages, attracting more teenagers to enter the workforce.
  • A significant trend is being observed in reversing the longstanding decline in teenage employment, driven by higher wages and a desire to get out of the house following remote classes and pandemic-related constraints.

A Flourishing Teenage Workforce

The ebbing of the pandemic has led to an unexpected development in the labor market: teenagers are being recruited to fill summer jobs in unprecedented numbers. The data, provided to USAToday by Gusto, a payroll process for small businesses, reveals that teenagers are projected to make up about 18% of all summer hires this year.

Luke Pardue, an economist at Gusto, provides insight into this unexpected trend, “Even though the overall economy is slowing, the job market for teenagers is still very strong.” Teenagers, eager to escape from a long year of remote learning and other pandemic-related restrictions, are flocking to these jobs, drawn in by significantly higher wages and the opportunity for in-person interaction.

High Wages, High Demand

This renewed surge in teen employment is partly due to a competitive job market that offers higher pay than ever before. According to Gusto’s small business clients, the average national wage for 15- to 19-year-olds is projected to reach $14.56 per hour this summer, a 9% increase from the previous year.

Pardue explained, “Some employers prefer to hire teens during the current bout of high inflation because they’re less expensive than 25- to 54-year-olds, who are set to earn an average of $23 per hour this summer, up 2% from last year.”

Positive Impact on Businesses

The influx of teenagers into the job market is making a significant impact on various industries, especially those in hospitality and leisure.

CEO of Table 301, Carl Sobocinski, revealed that the company has hired 32 high school and college students to work at their restaurants and catering businesses this summer. He attributes this year’s influx of teenage job candidates to increased wages. “Fifteen and 16-year-olds earning $200-$400 a week for mostly part-time work is a lot for someone that age and they talk amongst each other,” Sobocinski says.

Revitalizing the Workforce

Teens’ resurgence in the job market is a breath of fresh air, revitalizing businesses that struggled to stay afloat during the height of the pandemic. Andrew Challenger, senior vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an outplacement firm, observes, “Many restaurant, hotel, and other leisure and hospitality workers left the industry for more stable jobs during the depths of the health crisis and haven’t returned. That makes teenagers a more highly coveted workforce.”

This is an exciting and promising shift in the labor market, providing opportunities for both teenagers and businesses in the post-pandemic summer.

Mastering the Interview: Essential Dos and Don’ts for Teenagers

With teenagers dominating the summer job market, it’s vital to understand how to excel in job interviews. Many teenagers might be attending their first professional interviews, making it even more crucial to be aware of the expected behavior and preparation methods. Let’s explore some key Dos and Don’ts to help teenagers make a great first impression and secure their desired summer job.

The Dos:

  1. Do Your Research: Before attending the interview, understand the company’s mission, values, and role you’re applying for. This knowledge shows your interest and preparedness.
  2. Dress Appropriately: Present yourself in a professional manner, reflecting respect for the job and the interviewer.
  3. Prepare and Practice: Think about potential interview questions and rehearse your answers. This preparation will make you more comfortable and confident during the actual interview.
  4. Show Enthusiasm: Display your eagerness for the job and the opportunity to learn. This will help you stand out among other candidates.
  5. Ask Questions: This shows your interest in the role and gives you a chance to determine if the job is a good fit for you.

The Don’ts:

  1. Don’t Be Late: Punctuality is key. Arrive early to show your respect for the interviewer’s time and to avoid unnecessary stress.
  2. Don’t Underestimate Body Language: Poor body language such as not maintaining eye contact or having a weak handshake can send the wrong message. Practice confident body language.
  3. Don’t Be Negative: Avoid speaking negatively about past experiences, as this might portray you in a bad light.
  4. Don’t Be Afraid to Admit You Don’t Know: If you’re asked a question you don’t know the answer to, it’s okay to admit it. Honesty is preferable to making things up.
  5. Don’t Forget to Follow Up: Send a thank-you note or email to your interviewer after the meeting. This is a polite gesture that also reinforces your interest in the job.

Read also:

Cracking the Coding Interview: Secrets Behind a Successful Meta Placement

Is the Bootcamp Route Still Viable To Start A Tech Career in a Challenging Job Market?

A teen with learning disability used ChatGPT to generate an essay and his mom encouraged him to submit it

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