Ah, the summer job. That comfortable space you settle into between your last two high school years in hopes of putting aside some cash for college. If you’re lucky, you get a nice bank balance going, but it’s always been hard to continue that trend into your actual college years. Summer jobs between spring and falls semesters seem more like placeholders, routine functions you must perform in order to keep your sanity for three months as you’re forced to cohabitate with your parents once again.
But new data from the website site Snagajob suggests that summer jobs just might be swinging back around to their original purpose — providing broke college kids a chance to pad their savings accounts before the bursar’s office sends out the first bill come September.
Snagajob surveyed businesses nationwide and found that 78% of them plan to hire either just as many or more seasonal workers than they did last summer. And the employees may be seeing bigger paychecks, too — an average of $10.39 per hour, to be precise. That’s great news for college students who have been consistently crippled with the ever-increasing weight of loan debts for the past decade or so.
Looking at the numbers, almost 80% of all summer seasonal jobs are slated to go to new workers, which is a good sign for the economy overall. It means that more adults have found permanent full-time work and don’t need to rely on seasonal jobs just to get by for the time being. Kim Costa, a job search coach at Snagajob, told Fortune that this is very promising for both teens and folks in their early 20s as well. “With less competition from returning workers, high school and college students have a better chance of getting jobs,” she says.
However, signs from organizations like the Federal Reserve are showing a mixed message when it comes to the economy at large. In particular, members of the Federal Open Market Committee (a Fed subdivision) are divided about the speed at which the job market is actually healing itself. Meanwhile, numbers from the Kaufman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity show that business creation in the U.S. has been in decline for the past three years — and that’s a good thing. Fewer startups are actually a sign of a strengthening economy, NBC News reports.
“I think it’s a great sign that the economy is continuing to grow, and that employers are confident enough to hire seasonal help,” explains Dane Reese, CEO of People Axiom. “Companies seem to be very confident, as evidenced by this hiring, and that’s consistent with what my staffing industry colleagues are telling us right now.”
All in all, it appears that the economy still looks like what most Americans have come to expect — improving, but still not near where it should be (based on past averages). Nevertheless, when there’s hope on the horizon for teens and college kids in the summer job market, there’s hope for anyone.