Summer Hiring: 2 in 5 Employers Expecting to Recruit Seasonal Help

The summer job market is upon us and with good news—companies are stepping up their summer hiring. Forty-one percent of employers plan to hire seasonal workers for the summer, a significant jump from 29% last year. Of those who are hiring summer workers, 34% are hiring a friend, 30% a family member, and 19% their child.hiring

The national survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder between February 16 to March 9, 2017 and included representative samples of 2,587 full-time employers (of which 2,380 are in the private sector) and 3,420 full-time workers across industries and company sizes.

Not all summer jobs are temporary. A large majority of employers hiring this summer (79%) say they will consider some summer hires for permanent positions—up from 76% last year.

A Look at Who’s Hiring This Summer

Employers hiring seasonal workers this summer by company size:

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

Employers hiring seasonal workers, comparing the 10 most populous cities:

  • Miami: 66%
  • New York: 58%
  • Los Angeles: 45%
  • Washington DC: 46%
  • Chicago: 40%
  • Houston: 38%
  • Boston: 33%
  • Dallas: 29%
  • Atlanta: 28%
  • Philadelphia: 21%

Summer Pay is Heating Up

More than three in four employers hiring for the summer (79%) will pay their summer hires or interns $10 or more per hour on average—up from 74% in 2016. One in five employers (19%) plan to pay $20 or more per hour.

More than three-fourths of employers hiring for the summer (76%) plan to offer their seasonal workers pay increases if they work with their organization for more than one summer.

The Types of Jobs Available

Although summer jobs are commonly associated with recreation and outdoor work, many employers whose companies are hiring for the summer say they are hiring for a variety of professional and support positions, including:

  • Engineering: 27%
  • IT: 27%
  • Customer service: 22%
  • Office support: 19%
  • Sales: 15%
  • Manufacturing: 12%
  • Banking: 11%
  • Retail: 9%
  • Research: 9%
  • Hospitality/leisure: 8%

Most Unusual Summer Jobs

While lots of people find work as lifeguards or camp counselors, many go off the beaten path to find their summer paychecks. When asked what is the most unusual summer job they have ever had, employees said:

  • Being a theme park ride tester
  • Wrangling alpacas
  • Tagging turtles on a Florida beach
  • 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
  • Delivering telegrams dressed as Groucho Marx
  • Flipping college dorm rooms into hotel-like suites for a business conference
  • Arranging butterflies to be sold to collectors

When Is the Right Time to Apply?

For job seekers hoping to secure a seasonal position, now is the time to get applications out the door. Thirty-four percent of employers hiring for the summer say they typically complete their hiring in May—31% are already done (typically finish in April or before). Twenty percent finish in June, 9% in July, and another 7% in August.