Summer Hiring on the Rise: A Look Back at Unusual Summer Jobs

Are you wrangling any alpacas this summer?
Are you wrangling any alpacas this summer?

During summer months, when school is not in session, employers often add to their workforce. This may be especially true in cities with a lot of summer tourism. Companies are increasing their summer hiring compared to last year, according to a recent Career Builder survey. Forty-one percent of employers plan to hire seasonal workers for the summer, a significant jump from 29 percent last year.

Not all summer hires are temporary. In fact, the majority of those surveyed (79 percent) said they will consider some summer hires for permanent positions.

Employers of all sizes are hiring seasonal workers for this summer:

  • Companies with 50 or fewer employees — 28 percent are hiring summer workers, compared to 23 percent last year.
  • Companies with 250 or fewer employees — 37 percent, compared to 27 percent last year.
  • Companies with more than 500 employees — 45 percent, compared to 31 percent last year.

Not surprisingly, summer hiring is strongest in the hospitality and retail industry: 48 percent of hospitality employers and 34 percent of retailers said they will be adding summer jobs this year.

However, employers across a wide variety of industries are hiring this summer, including:

  • Engineering
  • Information technology
  • Customer service
  • Office support
  • Sales
  • Manufacturing
  • Banking

Hiring is happening now. Thirty-four percent of employers hiring for the summer say they typically complete their hiring in May and 20 percent finish in June. Thirty-one percent are already done, typically finishing in April or before.

Unusual Summer Jobs

Camp counselor, lifeguard, snack-shop worker: You may remember these common jobs from your own teen years. But, the Career Builder survey showed that some people have much more unusual summer jobs.

The survey asked employees to recall the most unusual summer job they worked:

  • Wrangling alpacas
  • Delivering telegrams dressed as Groucho Marx
  • Being a carnivore keeper at a big cat rescue center
  • Getting bitten by mosquitos for pay
  • Setting headstones onto grave sites
  • Picking up cigarette butts at an arcade
  • Flipping college dorm rooms into hotel-like suites for a business conference
  • Arranging butterflies to be sold to collectors
  • Tagging turtles on a Florida beach
  • Being a theme park ride tester

Be Mindful When Hiring Minors

If you hire teen workers, pay attention to California and federal laws regulating the employment of minors. These laws restrict the occupations and hours that minors may work and require work permits and special record-keeping.

You must acquire specific work permits before employing a minor with certain limited exceptions. Permits are required year-round, even for those summer jobs when school is not in session.

Make certain that:

Gail Cecchettini Whaley, CalChamber Employment Law Counsel/Content

CalChamber members can read more about employing minors in the HR Library. Not a member? See how CalChamber can help you.

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