Arizona teenagers can expect a tight summer job market

March 19, 2013

Arizona teenagers looking for a summer job might have to settle for volunteer work or an unpaid internship.  The state’s job market is expected to be very tight for young people who want to make some cash during their school break.  

The Annie E. Casey Foundation tracks summer youth employment trends in Arizona and other states. 

The foundation said the teen unemployment rate dramatically changed in Arizona from 47% percent in the year 2000 to almost 24% percent in 2011 after the official end of the recession.  Spokeswoman Laura Speer said this summer could still be a little frustrating for teens competing with adults for limited jobs in the state. 

"Compared to last summer I think things will be a little bit better for teens but compared to where we were even in 2000 even just a decade ago, it’s still a lot tougher for a young person to  get their very first job," Speer said.

Speer said local youth job programs that rely on federal grants are likely to see sequester cuts this summer and that’s adding to the problem. Some labor analysts encourage teens to use social media for leads on positions even if that means working for free to get experience that may lead to a paid position next year.