Summer job forecast strong

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David Minton/DRC
Zumiez opened Friday near other youth-oriented shops at Golden Triangle Mall in Denton.
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Some employers hiring seasonal workers now, but jobs could go fast

With new shops opening, college students graduating and the natural turnover of the retail industry, some stores in Golden Triangle Mall are already hiring teens for the summer.

Zumiez, an outdoor apparel retailer, just finished hiring employees as the store opened last week, and others could follow, said Matt Ludemann, mall manager.

“There’s always a bit of turnover, regardless,” he said. “But almost everyone is almost always looking for new employees.”

Between retailers, restaurants and entertainment locally and nationally, there should be some gains in jobs for teenagers this summer.

According to SnagAJob.com’s annual summer hiring survey, 74 percent of employers plan on hiring summer workers, and the number of people employed between ages 16 and 24 is expected to jump by more than 2 million.

The job search website’s forecast, based on a survey of 250 employers in the retail, food service and hospitality industries, shows that most businesses plan to hire as many workers as they hired last summer — or more.

Locally, the Denton Parks and Recreation Department has hired several temporary employees for summer camp and aquatics programs this summer. And jobs in food and entertainment, such as at Panera Bread and the Movie Tavern, are actively posted online.

The jobs could go fast, though, according to the national survey. Of respondents expecting to hire summer workers, 74 percent hope to have the positions filled by the end of May.

Some of the upcoming vacancies could be from college students leaving to go back home for the summer, said Kurt Krause, coordinator of experiential learning at Texas Woman’s University.

“This provides short-term opportunities for high school students, at least until the college students return,” he said in an email.

In the survey, employers said they are looking for a positive attitude, with 42 percent of responders saying this was the most important characteristic. Another 25 percent said they want potential employees to be able to work on a daily schedule.

And summer employers are not as picky as job-hunters might think. Only 17 percent of those surveyed cited experience as a top job requirement, and only 16 percent said a commitment to stay at the job for a full season was most important.

Additionally, 78 percent of the jobs are expected to be filled by new employees, not the seasonal workers who were with that company the previous summer or holiday season.

Students can find those summer opportunities by checking on websites such as SnagAJob and Indeed, as well as company social media sites, Krause said.

“As always, word-of-mouth advertising still remains one of the most often used methods, and not surprisingly, employers are now able to leverage Facebook and Twitter to get the word out quickly about job openings they may have,” he said in an email.

Those who find jobs are also likely to be paid more than last year, according to SnagAJob. The average reported wage for summer workers nationally is $10.39, and in the southern region it will be $9.60 — about $2 an hour more than the Texas minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.


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