A strong summer job market for teenagers

Instead of letting customers decide how much to tip, restaurants are increasingly adding standard “service charges” to diners’ bills, so servers can depend on making more money, Hamilton said. Eighteen percent is common, she said, with customers being able to increase the amount, but it can’t go down. Other establishments offer free meals during or after a worker’s shift, or even distribute gas cards to help workers cover the cost of commuting to work.

“It’s a very hot market,” Hamilton said, adding that job applicants should be prepared to be hired the day they are interviewed.

“We’re definitely seeing strong demand from employers,” said Vivian Russell, executive director of the True North Youth Program in Telluride, Colorado, a nonprofit group serving teens in the rural southwestern part of the state. . Known for skiing, the area also has a busy summer festival season which draws tourists and a seasonal ranch job. Some ranch and farm jobs pay $ 18 to $ 20 an hour, while service jobs can pay $ 25 to $ 30 an hour, including tips. True North helps students with curriculum development, interview training, workplace etiquette, and other job search skills.

Brenda Gutierrez Ruiz, 20, a student at Fort Lewis College in Colorado, said she was hired for the summer as a youth services specialist at the Telluride Public Library. She said she had worked as a librarian’s assistant while she was in high school, earning $ 12 an hour, but now she would earn $ 21 an hour. “I have risen in rank,” she said.

The summer camps, which were frequently closed in 2020 and began reopening last year, are hiring consultants, said Tom Rosenberg, president and chief executive officer of the American Camp Association. Many camps are paying contract bonuses for consultants who stay the whole summer, he said.

The camp group is promoting summer camp employment as a welcome antidote to remote classroom work, which many students endured during the lockdown of the pandemic, as well as a way to gain management skills. Mr. Rosenberg noted that he worked as a camp consultant as a teenager and that at the age of 19 he was supervising a staff of 16 employees and “72 energetic seventh graders.” Consultants gain experience, he said, but “they have so much fun.”

Students from low-income families tend to have lower summer job rates than those from wealthier backgrounds, in part because there are often fewer opportunities where they live and because their parents may not have access to social networks that can help. their children to find work, said Signora Modestino. They may have difficulty finding transportation to work if the job involves long commutes.