The slowing economy could affect the summer job market for teenagers and college students, according to a new survey.
Of 1,101 hiring managers surveyed by online job site Snag AJob.com, which specializes in hourly positions, almost half said they do not intend to hire additional help during the summer. Many of these managers recruit for retailers and restaurants.
The survey has a margin of error of 3 percent.
Employers who are forgoing summer hiring said they don't have the budget this year to add seasonal employees (31 percent). Another 18 percent said they expect business to be slower.
"With so much uncertainty about what's going on in the consumer front, hiring managers are reluctant to staff up too much with new folks," says Shawn Boyer, chief executive officer of SnagAJob.com.
What that means is that competition could be stiff for summer jobs.
High school and college students will compete with each other for open slots, but they could also find a labor market where adults also are looking for summer jobs, the survey suggests.
The survey found that 61 percent of hiring managers believe the biggest competition will come from other students. But 20 percent said they also expect economic pressures to force other job seekers to enter the summer labor market.
"Those are the folks we refer to as supplemental [income earners]: People who work a full-time job and now need to have a second job to supplement their income, or it's a spouse who had not worked but now needs to work a part-time job to supplement the overall family income," Boyer says.
For businesses still hiring seasonal summer help, 93 percent expect to receive the same number or more applicants than last year.
Most of the jobs (64 percent) are expected to go to workers who have held jobs at the hiring company, with the rest going to new employees, according to the survey.
But it's not all bad news. The survey also found four out of 10 hiring managers identified a positive attitude and an eagerness for the job as the most important things they look for in an applicant.
Here are some summer job hunting tips from SnagAJob:
Start the search as early as possible. The survey found 76 percent of hiring managers expect to fill positions by May.
Have a positive attitude both during the interview and on the job.
Widen your job search by applying online and in person. Follow up with places where you really want to work with an in-person visit, which shows initiative.
Be flexible in your availability. Employers want workers who are available according to the company's needs.
Send your stories, tips and questions to email@example.com. Please include your first name and your city.
On the Job is published Monday at www.baltimoresun.com.