PhotoThings have really turned around in the teen summer job market.

An analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas found that 1,023,000 workers aged 16-to-19 landed jobs last month.

Employment among that age group was revised down in May to just 75,000, down by more than half from the 156,000 job gains in May 2016, and the lowest summer-month total since May 2011.

The surge in June is up 48% from a year earlier when nearly 700,000 jobs were added, and 126% higher than May's gains. In fact, its is the highest June total since 2007.

“June typically averages the most job gains of the summer months, with well over 700,000 jobs added on average since 2006,” said Challenger, Gray & Christmas CEO John A. Challenger, adding that “these are some of the strongest numbers we’ve seen since the recovery.”

Looking ahead

If July numbers maintain an average pace of over 400,000 jobs added, this could be the best year for teen summer employment in a decade.

“While May gains were lower than average this year, June’s more than offset that pace,” said Challenger. “It seems the recent decline of brick-and-mortar retail locations has not subdued hiring among teens.”

Challenger has tracked over 5,000 announced closures of retail locations since January 2017.

While June’s teen participation rate ticked up to 42.4%, the highest monthly rate since 2009 when 45.9% teens were working, it isn't even close to the 70s, 80s, and 90s when more than 50% of teens held jobs.


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