WASHINGTON — After several years in the doldrums teen employment appears to be improving, according to a report Monday from a workplace consultancy that tracks labor force issues.
Employment among teenagers aged 16 to 19 rose by 219,000 in May, the largest such gain for the month in eight years, said the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.
Analyzing data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Challenger said there are more than 4.47 million teens working as the summer hiring season begins, peaking in July.
Last year, said the Challenger analysis, summer teen employment peaked at 5.143 million, down 3 percent from summer 2012 levels. In its annual summer job outlook, Challenger said it expects 2014 to be about where it was in 2013, although June should give a good sense of direction.
“Teen hiring got off to a strong start last year, but then fell off in June and July,” John A. Challenger, the group’s CEO, said Monday’s report. “The job market is improving, but there is still a lot of competition for job openings, not only with fellow teens, but with recent college graduates and job seekers with experience.”