survey shows fewer openings, increased competition from other job seekers
Yet, 53% of youth still plan on looking for work

As Americans face an unemployment rate of 8.1 percent, teens and college students looking for that traditional summer job are expected to be hard-pressed to find work, according to a second-annual survey of more than 1,000 hourly hiring managers.

The survey, commissioned by DDIFO Associate Member and conducted by third-party research firm IPSOS Public Affairs, found that nearly half (46%) of hourly hiring managers with responsibility to recruit summer employees will not be recruiting this year.

While this finding is consistent with last year, teens and young adults can anticipate far fewer openings among businesses with available positions.  Nearly one quarter of hiring mangers (23%) say that while  they will be hiring, they will do so at levels lower than last year:  Almost half (48%) of these managers intend to hire at rates between 10 and 50 percent below last year’s seasonal hiring levels.  This figure has jumped 12 percentage points from 2008 (36%).

Not only will today’s youth be fighting for fewer job openings this summer, but they also will face competition from a variety of forces, hiring managers with positions available report:

  • 73% of hiring managers expect more applications this summer compared to last summer. This is a significant increase from the 48% of hiring managers who anticipated more applications when comparing summer 2008 to summer 2007.
  • 29% of hiring managers say that youths’ greatest competition for a seasonal position comes from workers who recently entered the workforce because of economic pressures (up 9 percentage points from last year).  And as this group is a larger competitive factor, fewer hiring managers say that a youth’s biggest competition will come from another teen or college student like themselves – a drop of 7 percentage points from last year (61% last year, now 54%).
  • Those who haven’t had a summer job before can expect to compete against returning workers. Hiring managers say that 65% of their seasonal staff will be returning workers, and 35% will be new employees.

“We’d be leading teens astray if we told them anything other than the fact that it will be a very tough summer for high school and college students to find seasonal jobs,” said Shawn Boyer, CEO of  “The reality is that this recession hasn’t hit rock bottom, and more and more people are out of work each month, which is going to increase pressure on the summer job market.  That said, teens should not give up hope.  Instead, they and their parents should go into the summer job hunt with their eyes wide open – casting the net very wide, applying as soon as possible and accepting a job for the experience as much as the paycheck.”

For more Information: