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Job-hunting teens are out of luck in Valley, elsewhere

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Teens looking for work aren’t having much luck this summer.

“I’m hearing teens say ‘I’ve put in about 25 applications and no interviews,'” said Sheila Williams of the City of Scottsdale’s Teen Employment Program.

The Associated Press reported teen summer employment levels are at their lowest since World War II, with fewer than three in 10 American teenagers now holding summer jobs. About 58 percent of Arizona teens can’t get summer jobs, which is the highest percentage of any state.

Williams disputes that Arizona is No. 1, saying that she’s seen statistics that Washington, the nation’s capital, is the worst place, but Arizona is in the top five because there just aren’t a lot of job openings.

“People are staying in entry level, lower-paying jobs longer,” said Williams. “I’ve called employers to ask if they were hiring for the summer and they tell me ‘No, actually, some of our people are staying this summer, so we’re not going to be hiring the people that we normally need.'”

Williams said that many employers who do have openings are rehiring teens who have worked for them in the past, gone away to college and returned to the Valley for the summer.

Williams said that teens who are looking for a summer job now may be too late.

“If they are looking for a summer-only job, summer is a hard time to get that job,” she said. “Springtime is the best time to apply for a summer job.”

Williams said a teen’s best bet for getting a job is to follow up an online job application with a personal visit to the business where they want to work.

Also, applicants should go there dressed to impress, in case they wind up getting an interview.