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Will seasonal workers close job gaps this summer?

June 18, 2018

By Heather Nezich, courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

According to CareerBuilder’s annual summer hire survey, 41% of employers plan to hire seasonal workers for the summer, which is on par with last year. Of these employers, 1 in 4 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.  Perhaps summer will help fill some the job gaps in today’s workplaces.

Employers are targeting various workforce segments to fill their summer jobs. 73% say they plan to recruit college students, 39% say high school students, and 26% say retirees. 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. “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 resumes, and expand their professional networks.”

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.  That’s not too bad for a summer gig.
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%

For those of you targeting the younger, high school population for summer work, here are some tips to keep in mind in order to remain compliant:

In the state of Michigan, minors are covered by the Youth Employment Standards Act (YESA).  A minor is defined as a worker under the age of 18.   The minimum age for employment is 14 years old, with a few very narrow exceptions.  Some of the exceptions include a minor 11 years of age or older may be employed as a golf caddy and a minor 13 years of age or older may be employed in certain farm operations.

Employees that are 18 years of age but still in high school are not considered a minor and therefore are not covered by the law.  

While YESA has certain exceptions from the law, the FLSA which also has youth employment requirements has no such exceptions, so employers must still comply with the youth employment requirements under the FLSA for any minor under age 18.

Any minor who is 11 up to 18 years of age and not specifically exempted from YESA and who works in a paid or unpaid position, must have a work permit before staring work.  Work permits can be obtained from the state of Michigan school issuing officer (the chief administrator of a school district, intermediate school district, etc.) the minor attends or the school district where the minor will be employed.

If the minor changes jobs, a new work permit is required for the new employer. A work permit may be revoked for poor academic performance. A work permit is required even if the minor is home/cyber/virtual/online schooled, does not attend school, or is an out-of-state resident.  Permits are available for printing or downloading on the Michigan Department of Education website. There is no work-permit requirement under the FLSA.

YESA also provides limits to the number of hours a minor is able to work and limits the work day and work week for minors under the age of 16. Click here for specifics on work hours.

Perhaps utilizing seasonal workers this summer could help ease the burden of recruiting…even if short term.

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