The top 10 U.S. metro areas for summer jobs

Melody Hahm
Senior Writer

As the school year comes to an end, parents are nudging their restless high schoolers to find a summer job.

Unsurprisingly, babysitters, camp counselors, and teaching roles top the list of most common summer job postings on search engine Indeed. But, the listings are most popular in metro areas that aren’t known for their long and hot summers.

“Summer hiring is not just in beachy locales. The top three metros with the highest share of summer job postings are in places normally associated with cold weather,” said Daniel Culbertson, an economist at Indeed’s Hiring Lab who spearheaded the new report.

Per million job postings in the MInneapolis, Minn. metro area, nearly 4,000 listings were exclusively for summer jobs. That amounts to a mere 0.4%, but it still represents the metro with the largest share of summer jobs. Grand Rapids, Mich., Boston, Pittsburgh, Penn., and Hartford, Conn. filled out the top five metro areas with the most summer job listings on Indeed, which gets 200 million unique visitors each month. 

“While it may seem odd that a lot of these northern cities tout the most opportunities for summer jobs, part of the reason they get featured so highly is because of such short summers. These aren’t the types of roles that would be necessary all year round. Minnesota and Michigan don’t have much use for a lifeguard in November or March. When it turns to June, companies that need a lifeguard are rushing to fill those spots,” Culbertson pointed out.

Large universities and colleges are located in the top metro areas for summer jobs, which may also be a key factor.

“Many of the metro areas on our top 10 list have large student populations, and employers in those regions likely hope they will stick around for summer employment,” said Culbertson.

For the analysis, Indeed categorized a job posting as pertaining to summer jobs if it included the word “summer” in the job title or description. Indeed excluded summer internships from the data.

Younger workers back in summer jobs

Most summer jobs (that aren’t internships) tend to be lower-skilled and lower-wage positions. During the “long slog of the recovery from the recession” five to six years ago, there were a lot more people looking for work, even if it meant taking a seasonal job, according to Culbertson.

But, a stronger, tighter labor market has put summer employment back “in the hands of the younger high school or college worker,” he said.

Summer jobs are popular for both employers and prospective employees. According to the report, summer job postings in May, measured as a share of all job postings on Indeed, were 17% higher than the peak of 2017. Searches for summer jobs, measured as a share of all searches on the site, registered at 14% higher than the peak in May of last year.

However, once summer officially begins, job seekers quickly lose interest. The May peak in searches is more pronounced than that of postings, with a steep run-up in the spring and a precipitous drop in June, according to the report.

“There’s still people who can come into the labor market,” said Culbertson. “If anything, the fact that there’s still growing demand for summer work indicates that there’s more slack in the labor market than people think.”
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Melody Hahm is a senior writer at Yahoo Finance, covering entrepreneurship, technology and real estate. Follow her on Twitter @melodyhahm.

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