Teens Advised to Adjust Their Desires to Succeed in So-So Summer Job Market

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Byline: Kim Mikus

Flexibility and adaptability will help students find employment this summer, according to Manpower Inc. of Vernon Hills.

The company suggests students "think out of the box" and consider work in industries beyond their immediate area of interest. Industries that continue to perform well in the current economic climate include energy, health care, hospitality, engineering and education.

The summer's job scene will be different from last year because of the economy, said Charles R. Bartels, area manager for Manpower, a firm that provides workforce management services and solutions to customers.

A slowing job market is an ideal time for students to focus on further developing the skills that are critical to businesses today, Bartels said. Employers value computer-savvy individuals who can perform multiple functions. "That is the kind of flexibility that results in employment opportunities.

Manpower's view on summer jobs is supported by recent Bureau of Labor Statistics survey data on 2001 youth employment.

Another study shows that despite the slowing economy, 85 percent of teens earn more than minimum wage. The poll conducted by Junior Achievement last year showed that 91 percent of students said they earned more than the minimum wage last summer, a time when the economy was stronger.

This national survey also showed that more than half of students said the number one reason why they work is to earn spending money, followed by another 15 percent of students who say they have a job to save for college.

Retail and sales jobs dominate the student market. …