These are exceptional times in many ways, and summer jobs are no exception. At the beginning of the year, summer jobs were being posted via the public employment services at the same rate as last year, but in March everything changed. That said, perhaps summer 2020 will also be an exception in that summer jobs may become available well into the summer months. So stay alert, check websites and social media, and keep your eyes and ears open and your phone switched on!
When you look at summer job advertisements posted via the public employment services in the first months of the year, the change is not that dramatic: in January-May 2019, the number of summer job ads totalled just under 13,000 compared to 9,500 this year for a slightly shorter period. But the numbers started to fall in March, only to nosedive in April.
Restrictive measures in sectors that usually offer jobs for young people, such as the service sector, and the resulting extensive lay-offs have made it more difficult for young people to find summer jobs. Another obstacle is the requirement imposed on employers to re-employ those laid off before hiring new employees.
Optimistically thinking, there may be a chance of the situation reversing: As restaurants reopen and restrictions on public gatherings are gradually lifted, the service sector may get back on its feet relatively quickly. This means employees laid off will be called back, and companies might even need to hire summer employees. Uncertainty has prevented employers from posting summer jobs, but they might be in a position to do so soon. However, it would be unwise not to add that much uncertainty still remains.
On 25 May, there were 1,062 ads for summer jobs on the public employment services website at te-palvelut.fi. In total, the number of jobs available through TE Offices was 14,942. This year it appears that employers are looking for professionals for employment of less than three months in the summer, but they are also considering hiring a trainee or a summer employee as an alternative. This depends on whether or not qualified professionals are available. For someone looking for a summer job, this is a great opportunity.
Perhaps summer 2020 will also be an exception in that summer jobs may become available well into the summer months.
For instance, sales jobs are available in shops, farmers’ markets, kiosks and in telemarketing. Some summer jobs are also becoming available for chefs, waiting staff, and other restaurant staff. Barbers, hairdressers, personal assistants and home help service workers are needed, as are seasonal workers in gardens and on berry and vegetable farms. Practical and registered nurses will have no trouble finding a summer job. There are also job opportunities in construction, cleaning and storage, and for lorry drivers. And there is more; this is not an exhaustive list.
An open and active mindset is an asset
Recruitment for summer jobs and other short-term work often happens very quickly. Therefore, it is advisable to check the current situation on the TE-palvelut.fi website at least once a day. I would not recommend setting very strict search criteria this summer; instead, I would encourage young people to consider taking just about any job. For students, it is important to find summer work in their own field, but the youngest summer job applicants should not be too selective.
Use many different channels to look for work: te-palvelut.fi website, friends, family, relatives, former summer employers and last but not least, social media. In addition, there are several online job search services advertising summer jobs, such as Duunitori, Rekrytointi, Kesaduuni, Monster, Oikotie or Kuntarekry. There are many services to choose from.
When you are young, your first summer job experience is bound to be memorable; something to share with your friends. Contrary to what some researchers claim, I don’t think there is such a thing as a “shit job”. Well, as a matter of fact, I did have a summer job once that qualifies as such. I worked as a summer helper for a forest company, and one hot summer day, I was ordered to empty the outhouses in the company’s holiday village. Attitude counts when you are a summer employee. In my current job, I still run into a mess from time to time, and try my best to clean it up.
I wish everyone a good summer, and good luck with the job search!
Heikki Räisänen, Research Director, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment