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Summer Hiring is Expected to be Hot This year

Hiring is not taking a summer vacation, as 41 percent of employers plan to hire seasonal workers for the summer, on par with last year. Of these employers, 1 in 4 plan to pay summer hires $15 per hour on average – double the federal minimum wage ($7.25). The vast majority (88 percent) expect to transition some summer hires into permanent roles, up from 79 percent last year.

Employers are targeting various workforce segments to fill their summer jobs. Nearly 3 in 4 (73 percent) say they plan to recruit college students, 39 percent say high school students and 26 percent say retirees. Two in five employers hiring for the summer (41 percent) are looking to hire veterans for their summer positions.

The national survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder between April 4 and May 1, 2018, and included representative samples of 1,012 hiring managers and human resource professionals in the private sector and 1,117 full-time workers across industries and company sizes.

"Employers are grappling with a tough hiring environment, and summer workers are reaping the benefits," said Irina Novoselsky, president and COO of CareerBuilder. "Employers are becoming more competitive with pay and offering more long-term employment opportunities to summer workers. It's a great way for workers to add new skills, build up their resumes and expand their professional networks."

Summer pay is heating up 
A common misconception about summer jobs is that they only pay minimum wage. In reality, the majority of employers hiring this summer (87 percent) plan to pay $10 or more per hour on average, 56 percent expect to pay $12 or more per hour and 25 percent plan to pay $15 or more per hour.

Seasonal summer hires by region
Employers in the Northeast (47 percent) lead the rest of the country with plans to add seasonal workers for the summer, followed by the West (41 percent), the South (39 percent), and the Midwest (37 percent).

The types of jobs available 
Although summer jobs are commonly associated with recreation and outdoor work, many positions are available in offices or other corporate settings. Employers are hiring seasonal help in the following areas:

  • Customer Service: 25 percent
  • IT: 25 percent
  • Office Support: 25 percent
  • Engineering: 18 percent
  • Manufacturing: 16 percent
  • Sales: 15 percent
  • Construction/Painting: 10 percent
  • Research: 10 percent
  • Banking: 9 percent

Most unusual summer jobs 
When asked to describe the most unusual summer job they ever had, workers said:  

  • Teaching ice skating classes
  • Ambulance driver
  • All-girl valet parking crew
  • Assembly line worker for loose-leaf binders
  • Candling eggs
  • Detasseling corn
  • Killing mosquitos
  • Picking pineapples in Hawaii
  • Scaring seagulls off roofs
  • Senior citizen softball league umpire
  • Worm farmer

Tips to land a summer gig

  • Apply NOW. Employers start recruiting for summer help early, but opportunities are still available.
  • Take the opportunity seriously. Don't look at this as just a temporary gig. Summer jobs are a great way to get your foot in the door with an organization and learn new marketable skills. Let the hiring manager know up front if you're interested in a permanent role down the line – it will help you stand out as a candidate.
  • Be flexible. A willingness to work different shifts increases your chances of getting hired.
  • Dress the part. Dress appropriately when you meet the employer. If you're applying for an office job, a t-shirt and cargo shorts probably isn't the ideal interview attire. If you're going to apply to a job in a retail clothing store, make sure to wear clothes from that store.
  • Don't ask about the discount. Summer discounts are great, but you don't want the employer to think that's the only reason you want the job.
  • Show you're excited. A little enthusiasm can go a long way especially when employers are assessing whether you can provide good service to internal or external customers.