Largest employers of HS and college kids

Does anyone know what companies employ the most high school kids? College kids? How about the greatest employers of the above during the summer months. Is it different? I assume the fast food industry would make up the top employers. Is that right? Anyone else? Other industries that employ a LOT of kids over the summer?


Fast food, mass retail, entertainment services.

Summer camps have to be up there for college students. Numerically by a single employer, probably Cedar Fair or Disney. (theme part operators).

Wal-Mart, Target, grocery stores, fast food and other restaurants, etc. etc. etc.

Also, even in my day (early 90s) it was uncommon for any year-round business, like fast food or retail, to be interested in someone who could only work during the summer. Particularly for retail, summer is a low season when not much hiring is done.

“Summer jobs” tended to be with strongly seasonal businesses; otherwise you just kept working at the same job you worked at for the rest of the year.

Not just the theme park operators, but any resort area will employ a lot of college students, including foreign ones. The public radio program This American Life recently did a segment on a group of foreign students who were working at a rest stop on the New York State Thruway a couple of hours north of Manhattan. The students were from Taiwan, Ukraine or Poland.

All good answers. As far as U.S. Parks summer jobs, any idea how I can find out how many people are hired for the summer? I couldn’t find a number. I sea that U.S. Parks & Recreation has 20,000 employees, but I assume that’s year round.

Here is a study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on summer employment of people age 16-24. It might answer some of your questions.

Great cite! Thanks.

Depends on your location. My father ran a retail store in a summer resort area; he always hired extra people in the summer. One employee could handle things during the winter, but in June, July, and August, he usually hired two or three others to handle the rush.

Your father’s store would be an example of a business which is strongly seasonal. But genetic retail, ie, Target is not summer-seasonal like that (the high season is Christmas)

Actually, his father’s store is an example of a *location *that is highly seasonal as much as it is a business that is highly seasonal. Resort/vacation/second home areas often have a lot more people “in season” and therefore the busy seasons may not line up with those in non-resort areas.Even a general retailer might have its busy season in the summer if the summer population is many times that of the year round population. For example , Fire Island has a year round population of about 500. Two popular areas ( Fire Island Pines and Cherry Grove ) have a combined year round population under 40 and a combined summer population of over 4500.

 Fast food restaurants don't really have busy seasons, but I was once sent to a resort area out-of-season for a work conference ( Lake George , maybe). I saw an A&W restaurant , which no longer exist in the NYC area. I was looking forward to getting lunch there, but it was only open weekends between Labor Day and Memorial Day. Apparently there wan't  enough business to be worth staying open the rest of the  week.