Undoubtedly, the recent financial downturn has affected many sectors of the economy and every level of the job. When the economy is strong, workers can easily find a job because there are jobs and employers are looking for people to employ. This causes pay rates to rise. On the other hand, when the economy is weak, competition for jobs becomes fiercer because more people are unemployed. This causes pay rates to decrease.
Students looking for a summer job in 2016 are very likely to face hard times for a number of reasons. First of all, statistics report a record high teen unemployment rate that will be hard to beat under the current economic situation. Moreover, teens face hard competition from highly qualified adults who do the job. And, minimum pay rates are fixed. In such turbulent times, there are ways to anticipate difficulties and get a summer job, but it takes persistence and good strategy to achieve it.
Teen Unemployment Rate is at Record High
A bad economy is certainly affecting student summer jobs as well. With the teen unemployment rate reaching 26.1% in March 2015, many students face the increased stress and uncertainty associated with the summer job search. For many of them, a summer job seems like a distant dream due to a difficult economic situation.
The Economic recession is a fact for many businesses that have cut down their expenses and human capital to be able to meet their liabilities. According to the Collegerecruiter.com, a recession has inevitably led to a dramatic decrease of summer internships and entry-level positions in the states of California, New York, and Florida by 14.3% on average, while in Vermont and Montana the decrease reached 18%.
Experienced Personnel Does the Job of Teens
Another reason that complicates summer job search for students is the fact that employers hire experienced personnel for positions that would normally be taken by teens. In the current economic conditions, employers try to take advantage of highly qualified adults who possess the experience and are willing to do the job with less money because they cannot get a higher-paid job due to a recession.
This has a direct impact primarily on pay rates. When the economy is weak, high unemployment causes fierce competition. As experienced workers are accepting minimum wages, pay rates are decreasing even further. Consequently, teen employment is also affected. Teens face a greater difficulty in getting jobs that were previously taken exclusively by them.
Minimum Pay is Fixed During Recession
A very important consideration for students looking to find a summer job in tough economic times is what they can expect as a minimum pay. During a strong economy, employers evaluate one’s experience in relation to the job under consideration and offer a minimum pay per hour or per day. Sometimes, pay rates may even be per piece.
During a bad economy, pay rates do not vary too much. Employers do not consider the individual skills and competencies of each student when they consider hiring someone. On the contrary, pay rates are adjusted to the overall economic situation and do not depend too much on the particular job. This complicates things even further for those students who are competent or have an experience in a particular type of job as they cannot really get the most out of it.
What is the Best Strategy?
A bad economy doesn’t mean there are no summer jobs at all. It simply means college students need to have a better strategy to anticipate difficult situation. One of the advantages is that students are looking mostly for seasonal jobs. This possibly makes things quite easier as employers will not hire an MBA Finance Major for a restaurant job or quite more possibly a highly qualified MBA Finance Major won’t accept a restaurant job because they are looking for something long-term. This increases the available pool of jobs for students.
Another consideration is the experience acquired. Summer jobs are not good just for pocket money. They are mostly good for building a good resume after graduation. Therefore, it may make more sense to choose an unpaid internship that will add valuable experience to a paid job that adds no value to the resume. In the long run this may prove a good decision.
Overall, getting a summer job in a bad economy is not a bad idea. Students need to be determined and not be discouraged at all because of the economic situation. Temp agencies list job openings every day and, depending on the experience and the qualifications of the student, there might be a match. What makes things a bit more difficult is the fact that students need to be more persistent so that they get the attention of the agents until their paperwork goes through.