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A look at Michigan’s hot job market for teenagers

A look at Michigan’s hot job market for teenagers
Published: May. 9, 2022 at 5:14 PM EDT|Updated: May. 9, 2022 at 5:41 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The countdown to summer has started and as teenagers figure out their summer plans, employers across Mid-Michigan hope they take note of their help wanted signs.

Experts said there’s never been more opportunity for teens wanting work and wagers are higher than normal too.

Read: Summer job forecast out for Michigan teens

As Michigan recovers from the pandemic, the need for workers is high and -- at the same time -- workers over 55 are leaving at high rates too. That hits Michigan’s workforce particularly hard because of our older-than-average population.

“We’ve seen over the last few years that certain segments of the population have exited the workforce at higher levels than what we’ve seen in the past,” said Brian Calley, with the Small Business Association of Michigan.

As people leave, companies keep moving people into higher positions, creating the perfect conditions for teens in need of an entry-level job -- like the Parks and Recreation Department of Lansing. They’ve been preparing for summer camp and hiring hasn’t been the same since 2019.

“We have had a slight increase over the last two years but we definitely have a need out there with what the citizens are asking for in terms of recreational opportunities,” said director Brett Kaschinske.

The department recently lowered its hiring age to 16, but it’s not the only qualification. They want energetic and responsible teenagers looking to have some fun.

“So that camp counselor position, being responsible for games, sports, arts and crafts, going on field trips, and monitoring those kids and providing that fun environment for them while they’re out of school,” Kaschinske said. “It’s working but fun working.”

If you’re a teen or a parent of a teen on the hunt for work, you can apply to the City of Lansing Parks and Recreation Department here.

Teens in search of summer jobs may contact their local Michigan Works! office. Michigan Works! helps with resume writing, job searches and includes access to Pure Michigan Talent Connect. It also offers tips on applying to your first job.

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