Memorial Day Countdown: 3 Summer Job Angles

by May 25, 2017
Lifeguard watching a pool

Memorial Day kicks off the summer job season, a topic business reporters can easily localize. (“Lifeguard” by Pixabay user “taniadimas” CC0 license Public Domain)

With Memorial Day around the corner, now’s a good time to plan your coverage of summer hiring stories. Here are three job angles to consider.

Teens and summer jobs

Who are local employers hiring? What are the seasonal hiring trends in your area? Are local teens pursuing internships or summer classes in lieu of the traditional lawn-mowing business or lifeguard gig? Look to data from the Drexel University Center for Labor Markets and Policy, which publishes a Summer Job Outlook for American Teens (2016 edition), and the Bureau of Labor Statistics for context.

Changing face of internships

Glassdoor published a list of 25 Highest Paying Internships in America for 2017, which is ripe for localizing. But remember that while the internships of yore might have involved students fetching coffee or making photocopies in between semesters, that’s not always the case nowadays. Recent grads now intern if they can’t find a full-time job in their chosen field, and older workers learn the ropes through internships when transitioning into an encore career. Several high-profile lawsuits show that unpaid internships might be illegal if they’re viewed as exploitative labor rather than hands-on industry experience, which is another angle to explore.

Time out for teachers

Now that the school year is winding down in many parts of the country, a report on how local teachers finance their summers can be worth pursuing. Are local teachers selling their lesson plans online, launching summer tutoring businesses or earning money in other ways? An AP story looks at teachers cashing in on lesson plans but cites concerns about the legality of this practice. Reporters can also look at local teachers working more traditional summer jobs such as retail or camp instructors for extra income.


Reporter’s Resources

• Bureau of Labor Statistics: Turn to this government website for data on unemployment, job injuries or fatalities and specific industries. Much of this data is available for individual states, too.

• Glassdoor: This salary data website is treasure trove of jobs story ideas. For instance, its blog post 15 Companies Hiring Like Crazy in May could be localized to focus on the companies mentioned that are hiring in your area, whether it’s Spectrum in Stamford, Connecticut or VF Corporation in Edina, Minnesota.

• Job sites: Search job listings on sites like Indeed, Monster, and Career Builder to see what employers are hiring in your area and for what types of positions. These sites may also have relevant data.

• Job placement firms: Staffing agencies and job placement firms in your area can be a useful resource for trends, data and commentary.