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It’s a strong job market for Utah’s teens, but will they work?

Construction is one of many career areas that hires more workers in summer, frequently with little or no experience. Photo: Getty Images

SALT LAKE CITY — Summer is the time for teenagers to get a job, and about half of Utah’s teens will do just that. But more and more are forgoing the chance to get one in favor of focusing on school or sports.

Most teenagers who do get a summer job will work retail or be camp counselors and lifeguards.

But Christina Davis with the Utah Department of Workforce Services says the state’s strong job market means industries from construction to law offices are looking for people.

“There are a lot of [businesses] that have to hire up for the summertime. So, it’s really a great time for teens or anybody, frankly, who’s looking for a job,” Davis says.

And some pay more than minimum wage and will take you with no job experience.

“Just think of other kinds of experience that could be relevant [to put on your resume]: volunteer experience, or babysitting for your neighbors, or mowing lawns on your street,” Davis says.

Utah’s teenage workforce is higher than the national average, but fewer teens overall are learning soft skills: getting along with co-workers, how to serve customers, and managerial skills.

Teenagers who are still looking for work are encouraged to set up the voicemail box on their phone and have a professional greeting because that’s how employers generally contact them to offer jobs.