Few Small Business Hiring Students for Summer Jobs

One thing that benefits many young people across the country every year is when they find summer jobs. Not only does this help them earn a little extra money for the coming school year, but it also gives them valuable work experience, potentially with companies from the industries in which they want to spend their careers. However, this year it seems as though many smaller companies in particular simply aren’t hiring these workers.

Just 19 percent of small businesses today say that they plan to hire student workers for late June, July, and August, according to a new poll from Employers. In addition, those that do say that they like hiring this type of worker in particular because they have flexible schedules, command relatively low pay, and sometimes even bring fresh ideas and perspectives that a company might have been lacking. In addition, 75 percent of those polled said that they thought bringing this type of young worker aboard would be relatively easy.

For the most part, these students will largely be hired for clerical or other types of office work (42 percent) or construction and other types of manual labor (41 percent), the report said. Just 13 percent of small businesses in the food service industry, and 4 percent of retailers, say they’d hire these workers this year. Meanwhile, these firms seem to prefer college students (53 percent) to high schoolers (39 percent).

A potential risk?
However, it’s important to note that because these students might not be as familiar with their industries as other workers, they could pose safety risks overall, the report said. Only 52 percent of small businesses that say they will hire student workers this summer ensure that these students complete workplace safety training courses before bringing them aboard.

“Many small businesses don’t recognize the risks associated with student workers and don’t provide any type of workplace safety training,” said Employers chief operating officer Stephen Festa. “Even though they may be temporary, these workers are eligible for the same workers’ compensation benefits as full-time employees if they get injured or ill on the job.”

As such, it might be wise for owners to look into revamping their small business insurance policies to make sure they’re working as well as possible for their companies’ needs and bottom lines. That could include finding more affordable general liability insurance, which in turn could save thousands of dollars per year.

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