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Teen Summer Job Outlook

May 2, 2012, 9:50 PM by Angela Kennecke

Teen Summer Job Outlook

The job market is picking up for teens looking for summer employment; the problem is many teens don't want to work at all.  But for the state's biggest employer of teens, finding good employees and holding onto them isn't a problem.

Molly McAllister got this job at Burger King two years ago, right after she turned 14 years old.  Her high school helps students who want to work find jobs.

"There were five of us who got hired here.  It was pretty easy.  They came into our school and did interviews even," McAllister said.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more teens are dropping out of the work force entirely, whether it be due to pressures from academics, sports or extra-curriculars.  While McAllister says having a job can be a challenge with all her activities and school work, a little organization makes it worth it.

"The money's nice.  It's a nice perk, especially with summer coming up.  I'm going to New Orleans with my youth group. Having a little money is always nice and also saving up for college," McAllister said.

"We hire 25 to 30 every year depending on our needs," Burger King Store Manager Al Jones said.

Jones manages the Burger King in southeastern Sioux Falls and says while there hasn't been a shortage of teens applying, most tend to hold onto these jobs. 

"We try to build a really positive work environment for them and we're really flexible so it makes it easier for them to stay with us.  And we make it enjoyable so they want to work here," Jones said.

The teen job market is rebounding after taking a steep dip in the recession.  Jones says Burger King is teaching these teenagers lessons they will use in their future careers. 

"Customer service is such a big industry these days.  You can sell burgers or computers, you're still taking care of the guest," Jones said.

Nationwide, the teen job market has been hurt by people out of work taking jobs that teens would traditionally fill.

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