School’s out for the summer and teenagers who haven’t already lined something up may be looking for a summer job. Iowa Workforce Development spokesperson Kerry Koonce says the outlook for snagging a seasonal job is improving.
“We certainly seeing it better than it has been the last two or three years, it’s not really up to pre-2008 levels yet, but it’s definitely getting better. And a large portion of that is coming from the adult workforce that had taken some of those jobs who had been laid off from their fulltime jobs. They’re going back to work, so it’s free those opportunities up for the youth again,” Koonce says.
While more jobs are available for teens, there’s still plenty of competition. “Now you still need to present yourself in the best light possible, and it’s still competitive. And you know, broad your search,” Koonce says.
“We always tell students not to limit themselves. Obviously as a high school student it’s great not to work Friday and Saturday night — but when you limit yourself to refusing those hours, your opportunities are going to diminish dramatically.” The jobs that teens took in the summer used to be minimum wage, but Koonce says that has changed.
“You know it’s really all over the board depending on the type of industry. Even some of the fast-food places that you see out there now are pay far more than minimum wage, so it just kind of varies where you’re looking at,” Koonce says. She says grocery stores are another employer that often pay more than minimum wage.