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CareerBuilder’s Annual Summer Job Forecast: Popsicle-Making, Heated Competition, and Long-Term Gigs

dirdancingSummer 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 newly released 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.”

Summer, extended

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.

Steady (pay)rollin’

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.

Amy K. McDonnell

About Amy K. McDonnell

Originally hailing from Ohio, Amy is the editorial manager on the content services team and has been with both CareerBuilder and the city of Chicago for nearly a decade. She writes on a range of recruitment topics on The Hiring Site, striving to bring a dose of clarity and humor to sometimes complicated issues around employee attraction, engagement and retention. When she's not working, Amy spends as much time as possible reading, pretending to be a chef, writing short stories, eating Nutella out of the jar, waiting for CTA buses and trains, going to see her favorite bands live, and spending time with people who inspire and challenge her.
2 comments
aly el dawy
aly el dawy

could you please help me MR Dewon to join a temp job with you .I have worked before in many fields tourism, sales,&accounting & I hold Bachelore of commerce English section .

aly el dawy
aly el dawy

hey, Aly from Egypt am 28 years old & I wish to find a temp job at the USA for less than one year or merely few month even if the salary & rewards could be only equivalent to air tickets & related expenditures with regard to traveling accommodation  & living costs no matter what is the job  only if I could handle it . that will result in a big deference in my life.

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