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Summer jobs, still a tough market

March 17, 2011 at 3:02 PM
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CHICAGO, March 17 (UPI) -- Several critical signs point to a slow summer for hiring for U.S. teenagers, consulting company Challenger, Gray & Christmas said Thursday.

Cutbacks in government spending and rising gasoline prices are likely to cut into the teen job market, the company said.

Government opportunities for teenagers include camp counseling, working as a life guard, clerking and laboring positions.

Rising gasoline prices would likely hurt the tourist trade, an industry that frequently hires teenagers in the summer months.

"Young job seekers will not only compete with other teenagers, but in certain types of jobs like retail and food service, they may compete with recent college graduates or older workers who need to supplement retirement income," Challenger said.

2011 follows a year of few job opportunities for teenagers. Between May and the end of July, the number of jobs for 16- to 19-year-olds rose by 960,000, the lowest summer gain for that age bracket since 1949.

This year, "Any teen hiring gains achieved in the slowly improving private sector could be offset by losses in the public sector, where teenagers often find summer employment," said Chief Executive Officer John Challenger.

Challenger advised teenagers to start their job searches early and to looks beyond Internet listings for jobs. Many smaller businesses do not list opportunities online, the company said in a statement.

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