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Growth trend in summer hiring continues, Snagajob survey finds

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Wages are up, as is the number of employers expecting to hire this summer

This year’s summer hiring season looks its brightest in recent years, according to the sixth-annual summer jobs survey commissioned by Snagajob, the largest hourly employment network for job seekers and employers.  The number of hiring managers planning to hire more summer staff this year is up 10 points from last year (19 percent up from 9 percent), and wages are at their highest level since the survey’s inception.

In a positive downward trend, the number of hiring managers who don’t plan to make any summer hires is down 14 points compared to last year (from 45 percent to 31 percent).

The just-released findings highlight the hiring plans of more than 1,000 hourly hiring managers with responsibility for summer hiring.  The survey, conducted by third-party research firm Ipsos Public Affairs, found that:

- More positions are available, higher wages are expected: Hiring managers expanding their summer payrolls are planning to hire an average of 30 seasonal workers, up from 27 last year.  Hourly wages also are expected to increase for the first time in two years to $11.50 – up from $10.90 in 2012.

- Teens’ prospects are improving: One in three hiring managers (33 percent) believe it will be “easy” for teens to find a job this year – up 4 percentage points since last year and 13 points since 2010. The easier job search could be attributed to the fact that fewer hiring managers think they will get more applications this summer, a figure that has steadily shrunk from 73 percent in 2009 to just 52 percent this year. Only 5 percent think they will receive fewer applications.

- Budget concerns become a bigger issue: About one-third (36 percent) of those not hiring say the decision is budget-related, a figure that is up 9 percentage points over last summer.  An equal number of hiring managers (36 percent) cited that they plan to increase existing staff hours this summer; however, that number is down 11 percentage points from 2012 levels.

“The economy has added jobs for the past four consecutive months, and it appears that hiring managers see that growth continuing into the summer,” said Jason Hamilton, vice president of marketing for Snagajob. “Companies that are hiring are expecting to bring on more staff and offer higher wages, so this should be the best summer for hourly workers we’ve seen in several years.”

Similar to past years, the majority of summer hiring will take place in May and April (30 percent and 24 percent, respectively), with 77 percent of all hiring completed by the end of May. Eleven percent expect to hire in March and a like number in June.

Job seekers hoping for a leg up on the competition should demonstrate their eagerness to have a job, as employers’ interest in a positive attitude is up 2 percentage points over last year (31 percent up from 29 percent).  Employers cited the ability to work the schedule a manager needs as the second most important factor, followed by previous experience.

The nation’s hiring managers expect fewer returning workers this summer, making it one of the best years for new job seekers to get a foot in the door.  Managers anticipate just 55 percent of their summer workforce will be returning employees, down 10 percentage points from last year.  As in years past, a majority (54 percent) believe that the biggest competition for summer jobs will be from among high school and college students.

Methodology
The online survey was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, a third-party research firm, on behalf of Snagajob between Feb. 28 to March 6, 2013.  Respondents included 1,005 hiring managers with responsibility for hiring summer, seasonal employees paid by the hour.  The precision of Ipsos online surveys is measured using a credibility interval.  In this case, the survey is accurate to within +/-3.5 percentage points of all those responsible for hiring summer hourly employees, within +/- 4.2 percentage points of the sub-population of hiring managers who said they would be hiring summer employees (695 respondents), and within +/-6.3 percentage points of the sub-population of hiring managers who said they will not be hiring (310 respondents).This is the sixth year that the survey was conducted.

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Courtney Moyer is a content producer at Snagajob. When she’s not creating content for employers, she can be found painting anything that stands still, pretending she’s the next Food Network Star, or spending QT with her husband and Abraham Lincoln – the dog, not the president.