Published June 24, 2024

2024 Teen Summer Job Update

The latest employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicated more-than-expected hiring gains in May as economists and labor experts predicted hiring would slow due to inflation and labor costs. Teens and companies that employ them saw the most hiring gains since 2001, as 190,000 teens gained jobs in May, according to non-seasonally adjusted data from the BLS.

Meanwhile, the teen participation rate hit 37.4% in May, the highest participation rate for the month since 2009 when 37.7% of teens were employed.

“Despite predictions of hiring slowdowns due to inflation and high labor costs, the labor market for teens showed strength. Consumers are spending, teens are open to working, and employers are hiring them,” said Andrew Challenger, Senior Vice President of global outplacement and executive and business coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

“With strong May gains, the outlook for summer teen employment is positive. The continuation of this trend could result in high job additions for teens in the upcoming months,” said Challenger.

Challenger predicts employers will add 1.3 million jobs for teens this summer.

Teens are employed at Great Recession-Era levels. In May, 6,570,000 teens were employed, according to the BLS, the highest for the month since 2008, when 7,020,000 teens found employment.

“Financial need may be driving teens’ willingness to work, as it did in 2008. Teens may be helping out their own households in many cases, saving for the high cost of college, or just want their own spending money,” said Challenger.



Start Now

  • For teens seeking summer employment, June is traditionally the most popular month for teen hiring. However, teens who want to find work for the summer would be wise to start applying before school ends, when competition for these jobs becomes fiercer.

Create and Connect to Your Network

  • Many teens may not think they have a network, but that could not be further from the truth. Teens should reach out to their friends, parents, instructors – both current and past, coaches, and friends’ parents to inquire about potential opportunities. They should also seek out the managers of places they frequent to see if they are hiring.
  • Utilize social media platforms like LinkedIn to connect with professionals and seek job opportunities.

Create a Resume, Cover Letter, and Email Template to Send Employers (Use AI)

  • Teens should include extracurricular activities, volunteer experience, or any other information that would show an employer you are able to work as part of a team, are a self-starter, or can manage a project.
  • Teens should also explore generative AI to help facilitate these written communications to help ensure professionalism.
  • Highlight any specific skills relevant to the job, such as technical skills, language proficiency, or customer service experience.

Look in Unexpected Places

  • While summer camps, retail establishments, theme parks, and movie theaters come to mind for teens, many offices need administrative staff who can organize files, take calls, or even manage social media profiles.
  • Teens can also investigate summer paid internships in industries they find appealing or for which they are passionate. These are great avenues for teens to gain real work experience.
  • Consider remote work opportunities, which can offer flexibility and a variety of roles.

Practice Common Interview Questions

  • Be ready to talk about your strengths, experiences, and why you are interested in the job. Ask parents, teachers, or coaches for feedback on how you present yourself and answer certain questions.
  • Prepare for virtual interviews, which are becoming more common. Ensure you have a quiet space, good lighting, and a reliable internet connection.

Make and Leave a Good Impression

  • Dress professionally and arrive on time for interviews. Be polite and respectful to everyone you interact with during the interview process. Often, the entire team will discuss a candidacy to make sure the person is a good fit for the organization.
  • Follow up with a thank-you email after the interview to express your appreciation for the opportunity.

Learn from Rejections

  • If you do face rejections, view them as learning opportunities. Ask for feedback on why you weren’t selected and use that feedback to improve your resume, interview skills, or qualifications for future job applications.
  • Stay positive and persistent; job searching can be challenging, but perseverance is key.

Stay Professional Online

  • Many employers may check your social media presence during the hiring process. Review and clean up your social media profiles to ensure they reflect a positive and professional image.
  • Consider creating a LinkedIn profile if you don’t already have one, and keep it updated with your latest experiences and skills.

Leverage School Resources

  • Utilize your school’s career center or guidance counselor for job search resources, resume reviews, and interview practice.
  • Participate in job fairs and career workshops offered by your school or community.

Develop Soft Skills

  • Focus on developing soft skills such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and time management, which are highly valued by employers.

Stay Informed

  • Keep up with industry trends and job market news to identify emerging opportunities and understand what employers are looking for in candidates.

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Contact Colleen Madden Blumenfeld for more data or to set up an interview with SVP Andy Challenger.

Contact Challenger for Media Inquiries

Download Full Teen Jobs Report Update