Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire
Are Students Finding Work?

Are Students Finding Summer Work? [Infographic]

Thinking about hiring some summer help? It’s a good idea to understand that job market when it comes to student jobs. By student jobs, we mean summer jobs that college students hold while on break from their studies. Are students finding summer jobs? Let’s check out the infographic (full size below) to find out.

According to the infographic, there is a downward trend in the number of students with summer jobs. Last summer, 48.9% of 16-24 year-olds had found summer jobs by July. This was the lowest rate of summer employment since 1948. Between 1989 and 2010 employment rates for both males and females dropped by around 20%.

So are students just slacking off? Experts suggest that the lower employment rates are due to a few factors. Probably you can guess a few of them. For starters, 70.1 percent of members of the class of 2008 enrolled in college the following fall. Students who might traditionally have held a summer job might instead be working on finding scholarship information, preparing to move, or pursuing academic projects and internships. Student jobs sometimes play second fiddle to academic concerns.

However, the sharpest decline in summer jobs came during the worst years of the recession. The difference between the 2007 and 2011 rates of unemployment for youths ages 16-19 illustrates this. The unemployment rate for youths was 12% higher in 2007.

So, college plus a recession does a real number on student jobs. If you are looking to provide some student jobs this summer, you might be faced with many applicants for a few positions. The competition could also change the amount of money that you’ll have to pay those applicants. Though, let your conscience be your guide. 2013 college graduates make their way into the workforce with an average of $35,200 in debt.

While some summer jobs won’t pay very much—or some internships might not pay anything—other jobs pay good money. Computer lab assistants and administrative assistants both pay around $20/hour. Fitness trainer and print center attendant are also good choices. Even good old fashioned babysitting makes the chart, with a summer job rate of about $7-$9/hour.

However, the real money is in summer internships for top companies. Full disclosure: these internships pay better than some (read: mine) full time jobs! UBS and Goldman Sachs both pay around $30/hour, while a summer spent at JP Morgan Chase can net you a hefty $12,385.

What do you think about these trends in summer jobs? Is the economy, or other factors, affecting your hiring this summer?

Are Students Finding Work?

Kristin Anderson

Kristin has a B.A. in English from the University of Iowa, with an emphasis in creative writing. In her free time she enjoys long walks, kitchen adventures, and making puns.