Teens find easy pickings for summer jobsJune 6, 1997
Web posted at: 4:52 p.m. EDT (2052 GMT)
From Correspondent Jonathan Karl
NEW YORK (CNN) -- U.S. unemployment in May dropped to 4.8 percent, the lowest rate since 1973 -- reason for jubilation among teen-age students, who have started on their annual quests for summer jobs.
The summer job market is so hot this year that companies and municipalities in many areas are having a hard time getting enough people to fill positions.
"People used to come to us more freely. They used to approach us for summer employment. Now, we have to go out to them to find them," said Norbert Henkel, a restaurant operator at Jones Beach in New York.
Students looking for summer work at Jones Beach confirm that for them, the job hunt has been a breeze. There's even a shortage of people for perhaps the most coveted summer job of all: lifeguard.
"I just went to Park Information and applied. It was easy."
"I know for a fact that a lot of people -- especially at this place, West Bath House -- friends are getting friends jobs with no problem."
- Student job seekers
Since the recession in 1990, a poor job market forced college graduates to seek temporary, low-skilled summer jobs.
But since 1992, undergraduate hiring at Fortune 500 companies has steadily increased, and this year it's up an incredible 20 percent over last year. There are also increasing numbers of internship programs for college juniors and sophomores.
"It's a great year to be graduating," said Rachel Bell, who co-founded JobDirect Inc. last year to help students find jobs in companies nationwide. So far, her company has linked students to jobs in nearly 100 companies.
"There are tons of jobs out there, tons of internships out there, so that students can really find where they want to go and what their interests are," Bell said.
But the hot job market hasn't benefited everybody. Urban unemployment rates remain higher than the national average, disproportionately affecting minorities. This year, the New York City Parks Department received more than 11,000 applications for just 72 summer job openings for students.
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