Survey: Teens confident in ability to find summer work

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Junior Achievement USA’s 2013 Teens and Summer Jobs survey reveals a teen population confident in its ability to find summer work, despite a 24% unemployment rate.

The national survey of 14-18 year olds shows that nearly two-thirds (63%) plan to get a job this summer, and of those, 92% are “very” or “somewhat” confident they will find seasonal work. Yet only 38% of teens surveyed said they had a summer job in the past. In a similar survey conducted among Wisconsin teens, 87% were confident they would find summer employment, and 39% had had a summer job in the past.

When asked how they planned to find summer jobs, teens’ top three methods of finding work were networking through their parents’ connections (47%), using online job postings (33%), and looking in store windows for “now hiring” signs (32%).

Among Wisconsin teens, the three most popular methods were networking through their parents’ connections (52%), using online job postings (21%) or working at a family or friend’s business (18%).

Nationally, three-quarters (72%) of those teens who plan to work this summer said they anticipate earning between $7.25 and $10 per hour. This compares to 37% of Wisconsin teens who said they planned to earn between $7.25 and $10 an hour.

However, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, among employed teenagers paid by the hour, more than one-in-five (21%) earned the minimum wage or less in 2012, compared with about 3% of workers age 25 and over.

Tim Greinert, President of Junior Achievement of Wisconsin said, “We applaud teens for seeking summer jobs to increase work experience and earn extra spending money. However, we hope teens who can’t find jobs this summer due to a still-challenging job market do not become too discouraged. There are still ways to earn valuable experience through volunteering or by creating your own opportunities by starting a business, such as a lawn mowing service or house sitting service.”

Seasonal work can provide young people with important work-readiness and interpersonal skills that will help them to succeed in their careers. Overwhelmingly, teens who planned to get summer jobs said that they viewed gaining real-life work experience (79%) as the top benefit of summer employment other than salary. Yet only 5% of respondents planning to work this summer said they planned to seek an internship in a field of interest to them.

Locally, Junior Achievement of Wisconsin has volunteer-delivered programs for students in kindergarten through high school, which introduce work-readiness concepts in an experiential learning format. Visit to learn more.


Junior Achievement of Wisconsin is dedicated to preparing young people for the real world, showing them how to generate wealth and effectively manage it, create jobs which make their communities more robust, and apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace. Over 165,000 students in the state of Wisconsin put these lessons into action every year and learn the value of contributing to their communities.  Embodying the heart of JA, in over 7,000 Wisconsin classrooms, volunteers transform key concepts into messages that inspire and empower students to believe in themselves, showing them they can make a difference in the world.

Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices.