The latest jobs report presented a grim picture of the general job market in the United States but there was one silver lining for teenagers: summer jobs appear to be coming back in a big way.
According to the report from April, while hiring overall is down, a few specific industries have actually seen an increase in jobs. The leisure and hospitality industries, which were among those hit hardest by the pandemic, showed major hiring gains due to the vaccine rollout leading to COVID-restrictions being eased across the country.
This is especially good news for teens, as the unemployment rate for 16-to-24 year-olds reached 18.5 percent last summer, which was nearly double what the rate was for the summer in 2019. The unemployment rate in April was back down to 12.3 percent and as more venues open, especially restaurants, it should mean more jobs for teenagers looking for work.
Economist Luke Pardue acknowledged that “working teens were dealt a particularly difficult hand during this pandemic” due to the industries they typically find work being disproportionately affected by the pandemic. However, he said that the new numbers give “reason for optimism as hiring in these industries has rebounded in recent months.”
And if the return of summer jobs wasn’t good enough news, the latest report also indicates an increase in pay for working in these industries. The increased demand for workers has caused wages to increase from March to April alone and those numbers could continue to rise as we move closer to summer.
“For teens inclined to work this summer, my sense is there’s generally tremendous opportunity given the challenges employers report in trying to find qualified workers,” said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate.com.
The return of the summer job is great news for teens all across the country and hopefully, the rest of the job market will follow suit and start hiring again as well.
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