Teens looking for work in June found it.
Outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, which tracks employment, reports employment among 16- to 19-year-olds increased by 691,000 last month -- up 13% an from last year and the biggest surge in teen job gains since 2014.
The fast food industry appears to be a major factor.
“Unlike traditional retailers, which appear to be closing locations as more people shop online, food establishments are expanding. The Sonic drive-in chain added 16 new locations in the quarter that ended May 31,” said Challenger, Gray & Christmas CEO John A. Challenger. “Moreover, there has been an explosion of new restaurants offering healthier alternatives to traditional fast food fare.”
The June surge followed weak hiring among teens in May, which saw the fewest employment gains for 16- to 19-year-olds (156,000) since 2011. However, summer hiring this year is now outpacing 2015.
Through the first two months of the three-month summer hiring period, employers have hired 847,000 teenagers, up 7.1% from a year ago, when teen job gains in May and June totaled 791,000.
Overall teen employment reached a non-seasonally adjusted 5,548,000 in June -- up 4.0% from a year ago, and the highest June employment level for this age group since 2009, when 5,608,000 teenagers were employed.