Summer jobs can’t all be all Summer Rental-esque boat-racing, resort dancing/noboby-puts-Baby-in-the-cornering, and running off to space camp (don’t we wish), but job seekers have had their share of jobs at which they’ve had the time of their life unusual jobs. And as tradition would have it, summer jobs, a crucial source of income for many, is thriving. This year, however, summer-job seekers are facing a more challenging market, according to CareerBuilder’s Annual Summer Job Forecast.
Nearly a quarter (23 percent) of employers plan to hire seasonal workers for the summer, similar to last year’s Summer Job Forecast findings, but as unemployment is high and more people are clamoring for the same number of summer jobs, the competition for summer jobs will be stiffer than in years past.
“Summer job seekers face a bigger challenge this year than in years past, as the market is flooded with candidates looking for both full and part-time positions,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder. “The good news is that many traditional summer jobs are still available, but in this environment, it is essential that job seekers differentiate themselves and demonstrate how their skills can have a positive impact on a business in a short amount of time.”
You think it’s likely that you’ll fall in love with your lifeguarding job (or, alternately, one of your fellow lifeguards)? Good news: The survey, conducted from February 20 to March 11, 2009 among more than 2,500 employers, found that many who do land summer jobs may have a chance to turn their seasonal roles into year-round stints. More than half (56 percent) of companies reported that they would consider summer recruits for permanent placement within their organizations.
When it comes to summer paychecks, nearly eight in ten (77 percent) of hiring managers will offer the same pay to seasonal workers this year as they did last year, while 9 percent will offer more and 9 percent will offer less.
How much more — and how much less — will summer workers get paid?
- Forty-two percent of companies plan to pay $10 or more per hour
- Thirty percent anticipate paying between $8 and $10 per hour
- Ten percent expect to pay less than $7 per hour
- Six percent plan to pay $20 or more per hour
Where are the jobs?
Comparing the industries surveyed, hospitality and retail have plans to bring the most summer workers on board, at 38 percent and 34 percent respectively. Across all industries, the most popular summer positions being offered include:
- Office support — 26 percent
- Customer service — 18 percent
- Research — 12 percent
- Landscape/maintenance — 11 percent
- Restaurant/food service — 11 percent
- Sales — 10 percent
- Construction/painting — 8 percent
Workers’ most unusual summer gigs:
When asked about the most unusual or memorable summer jobs they’ve ever held, workers shared the following responses:
- Bungee-jumping tower assistant
- Commercial bee herder
- Scouted garage sales for items to resell on eBay
- Murder Mystery dinner actor
- Cleaned gum off of school desks
- Gun fighter at a theme park
- Popsicle maker
- Picked up road kill
- Painted silo tops hanging from a crane
- Waterslide repairman
Let’s just hope the “road kill picker-upper” and “Murder Mystery dinner” aren’t connected in any way. Yikes.