More Summer Jobs Expected for Teens in Minn.
Minnesota teens could have an easier time this year looking for a summer job.
Job vacancies are expected to be up for teens in areas of retail, food service and the arts. But the state's unemployment rate for workers between 16 and 19 years old still remains high, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).
The teen unemployment rate stood at 18.6 percent in December, said Oriane Casale, assistant director of the Labor Market Information Office for the state.
Last month, the state's total unemployment rate was 5.6 percent.
“In comparison, teen unemployment is through the roof still,” Casale said.
But it remains unclear what's driving teen unemployment up, she said. One thought is that teens don't want a job because they're more focused on school these days.
During the peak of the recession, teens had to compete with more experienced workers for jobs, Casale said. But these days, more professional opportunities are available for adult workers, leaving the lesser-paying jobs to the teen workforce.
The state's job vacancies were up in December by 18 percent compared to a year ago, Casale said. Vacancies were especially up in areas typically filled by teen workers, that included:
- Nearly 8 percent increase for retail jobs
- 47 percent increase for food service
- 14 percent increase for arts and entertainment
“We do anticipate that trend to continue,” Casale said.
According to a new state hiring study, production companies are especially looking for teen workers who have graduated from high school and have some shop experience, she said.
A couple tips, Casale says, for teens wanting to snag a job: have a resume and ask someone to proofread it, find references, and present yourself professionally to employers.
Below are job opportunities in the Twin Cities for teens:
- Minnesota Conservation Corps: environmental services, statewide.
- Tree Trust Youth Summer Employment Program: paid work in a variety of positions in Washington, Dakota, and suburban Hennepin counties.
- Youth Job Corps in St. Paul: paid internships for low-income students.
- Youth Lead in Ramsey County: services for disadvantaged youth.
- Cookie Cart in North Minneapolis: paid bakery operations, career readiness, workforce skills, and customer service.
- Emerge: summer employment program and youth services in Minneapolis.
- Urban Garden Youth Employment: entrepreneurship and leadership in the metro.
- Youth Farm & Market Project in St. Paul: personal development and farming.
Information about Minnesota Labor standards for teen workers can be found here.