Teenagers looking for summer jobs are in luck — so much so that they'll have plenty to choose from, most likely. Not only are companies trying to fill jobs, many are even willing to pay higher wages.

The summer job outlook for teens is much brighter this summer than last, said Carl Gould, business management expert and president of 7 Stage Advisors in Butler.

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He said the pandemic had a lot of things closed last year. In fact, they were closed for a longer period of time that those full-time employees either have gone somewhere else to find other work in other industries, or they've gone to find the same work in other territories. So those jobs are available right now.

Also, the unemployment benefits are high enough the people are not willing to return to the workforce. So not only is there a great work availability, the companies are paying premium salaries right now, he added. For the first time in a very long time, teens will have an opportunity to make more money than ever before.

Gould said teens are so important to the workforce this summer because they are the most available right now and what these jobs are paying would be attractive to this demographic. There are so many jobs available plus there's an able workforce.

"We just have to make them a willing workforce," said Gould.

Most of the jobs available are in the service industry, he said. Retail is also big as well as home care. These are the jobs that couldn't be filled last year because of the pandemic but they are available this year. Personal services is also big such as lawn mowing, dog walking, and pet and house sitting.

Gould suggests kids put together a resume and set up a professional profile on LinkedIn, for example. He said make sure to highlight the technology experience. With all schools shifting to remote learning during the pandemic, kids were taught on a professional work platform. The learning management system run by Google Classroom, which many of the kids use in school, is Google Workspace. It's a professional platform that most of them know how to use so they can also can be productive as a remote or virtual worker to a company.

The jobs are out there. The teens just need to know how to get them, said Gould. He is encouraging parents to give their kids a nudge to help them find work and build their career resume.

There are even some companies that are aligning with local schools and sending buses to and from the school in order to help kids do work during their busy school and work schedules, he said.

Gould also pointed out that this is a gig economy. Kids have an opportunity to learn entrepreneurship. So instead of just helping out with manual labor, start a small business. He suggested cleaning out the garage, basement or attic. Instead of throwing things out or giving them away, sell them on platforms like Craigslist, eBay, Facebook Marketplace, Poshmark and Stitch Fix. Leverage one's technology background and help others in the neighborhood do the same.

"The job you do today could be laying the groundwork for what your career is later," said Gould.

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