Summer job forecast: Cloudy, with improving hiring conditions

Hot industries for hiring include hospitality, retail and

Hot industries for hiring include hospitality, retail and finance. (Credit: Bloomberg)

As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, many workers yearn to leave the constraints of their office or cubicle and enjoy the outdoors. But if you’re unemployed during the summer, chances are you’d be happy to trade in the mild temperatures for the office environment.

Summer job seekers, you’re in luck. Hiring conditions are steadily improving, according to CareerBuilder’s annual Summer Job Forecast. The survey found that 29 percent of U.S. employers plan to hire workers this summer, up from 21 percent in 2011 and an average of 22 percent over the past four years.

Hot industries for hiring

Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America, says that confidence is up among the employers most closely associated with summer hiring. The manufacturing sector leads the way, with 45 percent of employers planning to add summer workers. The other industries that are expected to have high levels of seasonal hiring include:

Hospitality -- 44 percent
Retail -- 34 percent
Finance -- 31 percent

The customer service, office support, information technology, research, engineering and sales sectors are also predicting summer hiring spikes.

Summertime salary

What compensation should seasonal workers expect this summer? When asked what they plan to pay seasonal hires, employers gave the following responses:

More than $16 per hour -- 20 percent
$10 or more per hour -- 64 percent
$8 to $10 per hour -- 29 percent

Summer temps could last all year long

Many job seekers would be happy to take a temporary job during the summer, and if it leads to a full-time position, all the better. Seventy-one percent of employers hiring this summer said they’ll be considering some hires for permanent positions. In fact, 39 percent of employers said they’re less likely to hire someone who isn’t interested in working beyond summer.

“A majority of employers told us they consider a summer position an extended job interview,” Rasmussen says. “The forecast is also a strong indicator that the job market will continue to strengthen as we come closer to the second half of 2012.”

Haven’t started looking for seasonal work yet? It’s not too late.

Thirty-eight percent of companies typically complete summer hiring in May, and 19 percent will hire in June and beyond. So whether you’re a recent college graduate, an unemployed job seeker or someone who has left the workforce but is considering a comeback, you can expect to enjoy a sunnier summer job season.

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