Low adult unemployment helping teens find jobs


Low unemployment rates for adults are having a big effect on the number of jobs available for teens, according to recent data that shows more than 1 million found jobs in June, the largest increase in teen summer job gains since 2007.

After a below-average performance in May, more than 1 million U.S. workers ages 16 to 19 landed jobs, according to the latest analysis by firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Employment among teens decreased in May to just 75,000. That is nearly 52 percent lower than the 156,000 job gains in May 2016, and the lowest summer-month total since May 2011, when just 71,000 job gains were recorded, the firm found.

“June typically averages the most job gains of the summer months, with well over 700,000 jobs added on average since 2006, but these are some of the strongest numbers we’ve seen since the recovery,” said John Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Mark Anderson of Montgomery County Development Services said teens are taking back traditional “first jobs” as the unemployment rate continues to hold steady. June’s unemployment rate was put at 4.4 percent. That’s a slight increase from May’s jobless rate, which was 4.3 percent.

“We have a very low unemployment rate,” he said. “When the unemployment rate is higher, adults tend to take jobs in the sectors where teens would’ve typically gotten their first job. Adult are not needing those jobs anymore.”

» JOB ALERT: Kroger to hire for 800 open positions at all locations

The June surge is 48 percent higher than the same month last year, when nearly 700,000 jobs were added, and 126 percent higher than the gains in May. It is the highest June total since 2007, when 1,114,000 jobs were gained among the age group.

Local employers said they saw similar changes in the amount of applications they received in June compared to May. Kings Island, which planned to employ about 4,200 workers for the 2017 season, has a large amount of teens working for the amusement park. About 65 percent of their employees fall within that age group, according to spokesman Don Helbig.

“We did see an increase in applications in June over May once the school year ended,” he said. “Opportunities are currently available for the remainder of the summer, as well as for weekends in the fall in all areas of park operation.”

Some economic experts believed retail closures would impact teen employment, but Challenger doesn’t believe it has. Challenger has tracked over 5,000 announced closures of retail locations since January 2017. In the early 2000s, between 13 and 15 percent of retail industry employees were teenagers, according to the NRF. After the Great Recession, the number is now between 10 and 11 percent of employees.

» Dad said get a job and teens listened: June sets record

“While May gains were lower than average this year, June’s more than offset that pace. It seems the recent decline of brick-and-mortar retail locations has not subdued hiring among teens,” Challenger said.

While teens are finding jobs outside of retail, many are still flocking toward traditional stores for seasonal positions. In late June, JCPenney announced it would hire 600 employees throughout Ohio. The retailer needed associates for a variety of customer service and support positions, including: cashier, replenishment specialist, SEPHORA inside JCPenney beauty consultant and salon stylists.

The retail chain has a presence in the Dayton region with seven stores, including one at the Dayton Mall in Miami Twp., one at Fairfield Commons in Dayton and one at the Miami Valley Mall in Piqua, according to JCPenny’s website. The retailer also has a store at Bridgewater Falls Shopping Center in Fairfield Twp.

Since 2008, retailers have employed at least 55 percent of working teenagers, more than any other industry, according to the NRF.

» RELATED: Despite retail job loss, teen employment making a comeback

“The beginning of every success story is … always the same: the first job,” said Ellen Davis, NRF’s senior vice president of research and strategic initiatives. “The position that empowers an individual to build poise and professional skills, refine their career goals and rise to management and executive-level positions.”

Employers like Kroger, Lowe’s, Meijer and and Costco all contribute to helping train younger people for the workforce. In late June, Cincinnati-based retailer Kroger said it was hiring for 800 open positions at all Kroger locations.

» RELATED: Meijer adds alcohol home delivery

Kroger just opened its newest location in the area early this month at the Cornerstone of Centerville development, where approximately 250 people were hired. It is also opening a new marketplace location in Fairborn by the end of August.

Teen employment helps teach kids the basics — how to communicate with their bosses, clock in and out, show up on time, and prepare them in a real-world settings for life after high school, Anderson said. Montgomery County helps do just that for thousands of kids through the YouthWorks summer employment program.

“We want them to get that work experience,” he said. “It instills work readiness and job skills for their future.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

FAA will require inspections of engines made by Butler County company
FAA will require inspections of engines made by Butler County company

The Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday evening it will require inspections of aircraft engines made by a Butler County company involved in the emergency that killed at least one passenger on Southwest Flight 1380. “The FAA will issue an airworthiness directive within the next two weeks that will require inspections of certain CFM56-7B...
Pier 1 Imports to close up to 25 stores
Pier 1 Imports to close up to 25 stores

Pier 1 Imports Inc. will close up to 25 stores in the next two years, the company announced during its quarterly earnings call. Net sales decreased 1.4 percent to $469.2 million, according to a company statement. Alasdair James, president and CEO, said the company’s financial performance was impacted by the hurricanes in Texas and Florida. E-commerce...
Elder-Beerman store closings: Everything we know now about local impact
Elder-Beerman store closings: Everything we know now about local impact

After several last ditch attempts to save one of America’s oldest retailers, Bon-Ton Stores Inc. joined the ranks of companies that have succumbed to the retail apocalypse. Bon-Ton Stores Inc. officials announced on Wednesday morning that a joint bidder, including a group of the bankrupt retail chain’s bondholders, won the auction...
P&G makes acquisition, reports solid quarter
P&G makes acquisition, reports solid quarter

On the heels of announcing a major acquisition, Cincinnati-based household goods powerhouse Procter & Gamble Co. (P&G) is reporting a solid quarter. The company reported fiscal year third quarter 2018 net sales of $16.3 billion, four percent above the same point in the prior year. Diluted net earnings per share were 95 cents, an increase of two percent...
15 memories at Elder-Beerman that influenced your lives
15 memories at Elder-Beerman that influenced your lives

It’s official: Elder-Beerman’s parent company is headed for liquidation. Bon-Ton Stores Inc. officials announced a joint bidder, including a group of the bankrupt retail chain’s bondholders, won an auction for the company’s asset. The retailer, established 135-years-ago in Dayton and the city’s last hometown department...
More Stories