From Detasseling Corn to Worm Farming, Summer Hiring Heats Up

School is wrapping up for many across the country, which means more students will be looking for jobs to fill the void this summer. Fortunately for them, 41% of companies in a recent CareerBuilder survey say they expect to hire more summer workers for the second year in a row.


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According to the respondents who plan on hiring, one in four plan to pay summer hires $15 per hour on average—double the federal minimum wage ($7.25). The vast majority (88%) expect to transition some summer hires into permanent roles, up from 79% last year.
Employers are targeting various workforce segments to fill their summer jobs. Nearly three in four (73%) say they plan to recruit college students, 39% say high school students, and 26% say retirees. Two in five employers hiring for the summer (41%) are looking to hire veterans for their summer positions.
“Employers are grappling with a tough hiring environment, and summer workers are reaping the benefits,” said Irina Novoselsky, president and COO of CareerBuilder—in a press release. “Employers are becoming more competitive with pay and offering more long-term employment opportunities to summer workers. It’s a great way for workers to add new skills, build up their résumés and expand their professional networks.”

Summer Pay Is Heating Up

A common misconception about summer jobs is that they only pay minimum wage. In reality, the majority of employers hiring this summer (87%) plan to pay $10 or more per hour on average, 56% expect to pay $12 or more per hour and 25% plan to pay $15 or more per hour.

Seasonal Summer Hires by Region

Employers in the Northeast (47%) lead the rest of the country with plans to add seasonal workers for the summer, followed by the West (41%), the South (39%), and the Midwest (37%).

The Types of Jobs Available

Although summer jobs are commonly associated with recreation and outdoor work, many positions are available in offices or other corporate settings. Employers are hiring seasonal help in the following areas:

  • Customer Service: 25%
  • IT: 25%
  • Office Support: 25%
  • Engineering: 18%
  • Manufacturing: 16%
  • Sales: 15%
  • Construction/Painting: 10%
  • Research: 10%
  • Banking: 9%

Most Unusual Summer Jobs

When asked to describe the most unusual summer job they ever had, workers said:

  • Teaching ice skating classes
  • Ambulance driver
  • All-girl valet parking crew
  • Assembly line worker for loose-leaf binders
  • Candling eggs
  • Detasseling corn
  • Killing mosquitos
  • Picking pineapples in Hawaii
  • Scaring seagulls off roofs
  • Senior citizen softball league umpire
  • Worm farmer

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among 1,012 hiring and Human Resource managers ages 18 and over (employed full-time, not self-employed, nongovernment) and 1,117 employees ages 18 and over (employed full- time, not self-employed) between April 4 and May 1, 2018. Data for employers were weighted where necessary by company size and job level and data for employees were weighted where necessary by gender, age, race/ethnicity, region, income, education, and industry to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.

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