If you’re a teen who’s looking for a job, the time has never been better.
Money expert Clark Howard says the summer job market is the hottest it’s ever been for a young person, a far cry from the way it was around a decade ago during the Great Recession.
“A teenager trying to find summer work? There just wasn’t any,” he says of that time. “It was unbelievable how bad the job market was.”
But after the massive job losses of the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy is rebounding, and hourly earnings for all workers are up.
Know a Teen Looking for a Summer Job? Read This
A recent news release from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says the rate of job openings in March 2022 increased in eight states, fell in three and stayed the same in 39 others.
Another release from the Bureau says the average hourly pay rate increased by 10 cents, or 0.3%, to $31.85 in April 2022. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 5.5%.
Clark says not only are young people getting hired very quickly – often on the spot at the interview – but they are being paid unprecedented rates in some industries.
“I don’t know how fast-food operators are able to make a go right now, because they’re having to offer people $16 to $18 an hour,” Clark says. “So, for the teen in your life, being able to earn money this summer is the easiest it’s ever been.”
“There are a zillion unfilled jobs,” Clark says, “and teenagers are making the most money that they have ever been able to make at summer jobs. So as a teen, don’t tell your parents, ‘I can’t find a job.’”
What About Young Teens and Tweens?
Answering a question from an 11-year-old listener of his podcast, Clark says there are many jobs that a young teenager or even pre-teen can do to earn money.
“There’s a lot of work you can do in your neighborhood. Just create a simple flyer saying that you can do whatever it is you want to do,” he says.
Here are some things Clark suggests that teens can do for cash:
- Pick up people’s mail while they’re out of town
- Walking dogs
“There are so many people who need that kind of help, and so there is a real opportunity for you,” Clark says to teens and tweens.
Once you come up with your flyer, Clark.com General Manager Christa suggests that you get a parent to post the flyer on Nextdoor.com, which can reach a lot of your neighbors and people in the surrounding area.
Once you get a job offer, here are some tips that will help you keep a great reputation in the working world.
“I keep hearing this complaint from people who own their own businesses, that they’ll hire people and then they ‘ghost’ them: They don’t show up for the first day of work, no call or nothing. That is not OK,” Clark says. “That is not the way for you to behave.”
Accepted a Better Offer? Inform the Company Courting You
“If you accept a job and then you get a better offer somewhere else, please have the courtesy to call the business that you accepted a job from and tell them, ‘Thank you so much for your offer. I’m now going to go work someplace else,’” Clark advises.
Want more employment tips? Here’s how to fill out a job application.