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Summer Jobs? Times Have Changed.

Summer Job Should I Get One

We are just a few weeks away from the summer break! All high school students in LSR7 are probably counting down the days as summer gives them more free time to relax. Even the most involved high school students may end up getting a little bored over the summer. A great way to fill some free time is a summer job!

Summer tends to be a time when a lot of teens are working. Over the past two decades, however, the number of teens working a summer job has fallen dramatically. According to the Pew Research Center, during the summer of 1998, 51.7% of 16 to 19-year-olds were employed. By the end of the Great Recession in 2008, the percentage reached an all-time low of 29.6%. So, are summer jobs a thing of the past? While the number of teens working during the summer has definitely fallen over time, the summer of 2021 saw a small uptick in teen workers. Economists predict that the summer of 2023 will be another strong summer for teenage workers, with lots of job possibilities. 

A quick search on a job posting website, such as Indeed, will reveal the variety of part-time jobs available in Lee’s Summit right now. From car wash attendants to delivery drivers to retail workers, there are hundreds of opportunities for the teen looking to save up some money this summer. Beyond making some extra cash, summer jobs give teens the opportunity to develop professional skills before they graduate. 

Let’s take a look at the valuable, resume-worthy skills teens can gain from a summer job and that all employers seek in job candidates:

  • Communication Skills - A summer job allows teens to beef up their ability to communicate with customers, coworkers, and management. 

  • Collaboration Skills - At some point, most summer jobs will require a teen to work with others to accomplish a task. 

  • Critical Thinking Skills - Some summer jobs may require teens to think through a problem on the spot. 

  • Interpersonal Skills - Summer jobs provide the opportunity to build relationships with customers and coworkers. 

  • Proactivity - Teens will get the opportunity to show initiative, which is a skill we hear is highly valued by local employers.

  • Executive Function - During a summer job, teens will be growing in their ability to work independently and learn to manage their time.

So, yes, times have changed. Not as many teens spend their summer working. For those that do decide to get a summer job, there are rewards that go beyond the cash flow to their bank account!


-Kimberly Sterne, Career Navigator for the LSHS Feeder Schools