Summer Job Market Improved

May 11, 2006 ( - Summer job prospects are looking brighter this year, the Wall Street Journal reports.

While young people had to compete for jobs with older, more-experienced workers in a weak employment market in recent years, many employers and online job sites report increased hiring this summer as the economy picks up, according to the WSJ report.

The increase in hiring is showing for a wide range of businesses, from amusement parks to hedge funds. Accounting firm Ernst & Young has hired about 2,200 college interns this year, an 18% increase over last year, the news report said. Meanwhile, Six Flags Inc. expects to offer at least 1,200 new jobs this summer.

In addition, a growing number of hedge funds and other nontraditional summer employers are showing up at campuses with internship programs for the first time this year.

A number of employers, such as investment banks and accounting firms, say they have increased their internship hiring for this summer. These firms seek to generate a larger labor pool for hiring once the intern graduates. Employers contributing to a national survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) reported higher retention rates among college hires with internship or co-op experience than those without such experience (See Internship Experience Implies Higher Retention ). The NACE survey also found that employers said about 36% of their interns became full-time employees, WSJ reports.

“It’s a 10-week interview, an opportunity to see a person in action,” said Janet Raiffa, co-head of US campus recruiting at Goldman Sachs, in the news report.

Web sites that list summer jobs are also reporting large increases in postings in a wide range of occupations., said it had about 100,000 listings in late April, compared to the 42,000 it posted at the same time last year. Most of the listings are in the retail and hospitality sector, but there are also an increasing number of listings in less-traditional areas, such as health-care attendants, in-store product demonstrators and event staffers at catering and party-planning firms, according to Shawn Boyer,’s chief executive.

Other sites are reporting job post increases of 20% to 35%.