Summer Job Market For Teens May Stay Stagnant—But It’s Never Too Early To Apply!

155073040 E+/Getty Images

Believe it or not, summer is right around the corner. Sure, spending break at the beach is relaxing and fun, but sometimes some structure (and some spending money!) can be equally enjoyable.

Jobs teach teens responsibility, while also helping them save up cash. Whether they put it toward college or splurge on something they’ve had an eye on, it’s all the more rewarding when bought with their hard-earned money.

According to predictions from the executive search firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, this year’s summer job market will likely be similar to that of last year. In 2013, 1.3 million teens ages 16-19 were employed. This stat was down 2 percent from 2012. That decline was attributed to a variety of factors, including the economy and teens choosing different summer activities—such as internships, summer school and volunteering.

Although it was not considered a high number, there are still plenty of potential job opportunities out there! Snagajob conducted its annual Summer Hiring Survey, which included 250 employers in the food service, retail and hospitality industries. Out of those surveyed, 74 percent said they would be hiring seasonal employees this summer—creating potential opportunities for teens.

There are tons of tips and tricks to getting a summer job, but encouraging your teen to apply early is their best bet for success. Seventy-four percent of employers plan to fill their open positions by the end of May.

Another important tip: Positivity goes a long way. According to the Snagajob survey, prospective employers value a good attitude above anything else. It's even more important than previous job experience.

In the May issue of Choices, three teens share their stories of how they landed great summer gigs. From a bakery to a museum to a clothing boutique, the trio featured in the mag used creativity to get jobs they wanted.

Even if there’s no “help wanted” sign, it never hurts to ask if a business needs some extra hands. Another great way to find job openings are on sites like or Simply Hired. These sites allow you to filter the search to part time or seasonal positions in your area.

For even more summer job tips, check out the "Land Your Summer Dream Job" article from May 2013. This How To Deal video also is filled with great advice for teens going on interviews.

How is your teen spending the summer? Do you remember your first summer job? If so, what was it? Tell us in the comments!