CHICAGO, April 11 (UPI) -- Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas said U.S. teenagers are likely to see increased opportunities for employment this summer.
"Of course, it is still a competitive environment," Chief Executive Officer John Challenger said.
However, the firm said several retail sectors have expanded their payrolls, including food, clothing, sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores.
"Earlier this year both Home Depot and Lowes announced they would be adding 80,000 and 45,000 seasonal workers, respectively. These openings as well as those at shopping malls, clothing stores, amusement parks, day camps, etc., are ripe opportunities for teenagers hoping to earn some money this summer," Challenger said.
In addition, home equity has improved, which should allow more homeowners to tackle home improvement projects, which often means opportunities for teenagers.
In 2012, about 1.4 million more 16- to 19-year-olds found jobs in May, June and July, Department of Labor data show. That was a 29 percent jump from 2011, when 1.087 million teenagers were listed as employed in the summer months.
While opportunities should rise this year, "the question remains whether more teens will actually pursue" work, the outplacement firm said.
In March, the labor force participation rate among 16- to 19-year-olds was 31.5 percent, slightly higher than the record low, which was set in January 2012 at 30.8 percent.
Many teenagers are discouraged but many are simply choosing not to work. On average, there were 11.162 million unemployed teenagers in the labor force in 2012, but only an average of 1.167 million indicated they wanted a job, the firm said.