Summer Brings Surge of Young Job-Seekers
Summer isn’t all late nights and pool parties — many students spend the sunny months saving money for school.
“I work during the semester but I work a lot more in the summer,” Blake Wilkins said. “That way when school starts back, I’ll have money saved up so I don’t have to work as much during school.”
The average wage a student earns in college is $11 per hour, according to classesandcareers.com.
The rate of 16- to 24-year-olds working or looking for work grows sharply between April and July each year. During these months, large numbers of high school and college students search for summer jobs while graduates enter the labor market in search of permanent employment, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Last summer, the youth labor force grew 11.8 percent, to a total of 22.7 million in July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The restaurant industry draws large numbers of young job-seekers. One-third of all adults got their first job experience in a restaurant. Half of all adults have worked in a restaurant at some point, according to restaurants.org.
Restaurants in Arkansas are a driving force in the state’s economy. Their sales generate tremendous tax revenues and provide jobs and build careers for thousands of people, according to restaurants.org.
Every $1 spent in Arkansas restaurants generates an additional 88 cents in sales for the state economy. Every additional $1 million spent in Arkansas restaurants generates an additional 30.5 jobs in the state, according to restaurants.org.
In 2011, Arkansas restaurants employed 115,100 people, making up 10 percent of state employment. In a decade, the industry will grow to 132,500 people, according to restaurants.org
“I work in retail and it is a lot better than food but you have to work more to make as much money as you would as a waitress,” said sophomore French major Kelsey Shumate.
The median hourly wage of retail salespersons was $9.94 in May 2010. The median hourly wage of parts salespersons was $13.88 in May 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.
Employment of retail salespersons is expected to grow 17 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Employment of parts salespersons is expected to grow 16 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Many workers leave this occupation, which means there will be a large number of job openings, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.