As Alice Cooper once sang, “SCHOOOOOOOOOL’S OUT…FOR…SUMMER!” High school students’ hectic schedules may get some relief, but businesses continue posting “help wanted” signs. This creates the potential for summertime employment for teens.
It’s good timing for Minnesota employers. It’s been difficult to hire with Minnesota’s unemployment rate staying below 4% for several months. This leaves fewer available workers for employers to pick from.
Teenagers provide a welcome bump in the available labor force across the state, with Minnesota having the seventh-highest labor force participation rate for teenagers in the country, at 48.5%. Nationally, the teen labor force participation rate is about 34%, according to data from the Current Population Survey.
It is not too surprising that teens are most likely to work in the accommodation and food services, and retail trade industries — jobs related to tourism, restaurants, and shopping — which together account for about two-thirds of jobs held by teenagers.
However, data show that teens also find jobs in other industries, such as:
- health care and social assistance, which includes child care services, nursing and residential care facilities;
- other services, which includes personal care, pet care, civic and social organizations, and repair and maintenance;
- arts, entertainment and recreation, which includes amusement parks, golf courses, and sports teams;
- and public administration, which includes local government services.
Prospects for teenagers finding jobs this summer are better than in recent years, primarily because of an improving economy and tighter labor market,” said Oriane Casale of DEED’s Labor Market Information Office.
“With strong employment growth in both the retail and the accommodation and food service sectors in March, this might be a great summer for teens in Minnesota to get some work experience and earn their first paychecks,” she said.
While teen rates may seem high in comparison to low unemployment rates overall, the state’s 11.3% unemployment rate for teens was the sixth lowest nationally in 2014, with only Montana, Utah, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska having lower unemployment rates for that age group. The new figures are an improvement from teen jobless rates that surged to more than 20% during the recession.
DEED offers services and programs to help teens find work. The agency’s MinnesotaWorks.net job bank lists nearly 84,000 jobs, many of them suitable for teenagers. Job opportunities also are available through DEED’s youth employment, training and education programs.
This week, iSpeak is featuring a series of articles about teen employment in Minnesota:
- Southeast Minnesota
- The Twin Cities
- Northwest Minnesota
- Central Minnesota
- Northeast Minnesota
- Southwest Minnesota
- 3 Things Teens Can Do to Find a Summer Job
There may be no more pencils, no more books, and no more teacher’s dirty looks. But there’s plenty of work out there for teens!