Business

Teen summer employment expected to rebound, job firm says

After facing several years of stiff competition from recent college graduates and other displaced workers, teenagers are expected to find more summer job openings as retailers expand hiring, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.

The firm's outlook, released Thursday, predicts that seasonal hiring will be stronger this year -- and teens will benefit.

“There will definitely be more opportunities for teenagers seeking employment this summer," said John A. Challenger, chief executive of the consulting firm. "Of course, it is still a competitive environment. So teens should not expect employers to come knocking on their door."

The firm points to Bureau of Labor Statistics data that showed the number of 16-to-19-year-olds grew 29% in the summer of 2012 compared with the same period a year earlier, when 1.1 million teens found jobs.

Employment for teens this summer could reach pre-recession levels, the firm predicts. "Not necessarily because the economy is booming, but because the types of employers that typically seek out teens are doing better," Challenger said.

With the housing market recovering and housing starts rising, home improvement retailers such as Home Depot and Lowe's are expected to ramp up hiring, Challenger said.

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ricardo.lopez@latimes.com

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