Good news! Just when you thought you might never land a summer job because of the economy, things might be shifting in your favor -- but you'll have to act fast. A new study shows that teen summer job prospects, which have been on the decline in recent years, are finally beginning to come around.
Teens who are interested in snagging a summer job should start applying right away. According to the report, 79 percent of summer jobs will be filled by the end of May, with 13 percent of hiring managers already having filled their positions as of now.
The report, which was released by employment network Snagajob, surveyed more than 1,000 hiring managers and found a six percent increase in the number of managers who think that teens now have a more even playing field in the job market. Thirty percent of hiring managers surveyed also believe it will be easy for teens to secure a job this summer, up nearly 10 percent from two years ago.
Others are not as optimistic about the teen job market. CNN Money reports that while the national unemployment rate has fallen to 8.3 percent, the rate for youth has remained above 20 percent for 40 consecutive months.
A major concern, however, is the continued disparity in unemployment between caucasian and minority teenagers. As of February, the unemployment rate for Hispanics age 16 to 19 was 27.5 percent, and 34.7 percent for for African-Americans.
While there is still a lot of uncertainty in the job market, there are ways to improve your chances of being selected for a position. For instance, students should reiterate their flexibility in the hours they can work to potential employers. A positive, can-do attitude, as well as prior job experience, are other important factors to emphasize in an interview. Experts also encourage teens to reach out to friends, loved ones and previous employers for leads on job openings, as well as prepare a list of references to present to a potential employer should an opportunity arise.
What's your plan for getting a summer job? Share your tips, concerns, and success stories in the comments below or tweet @huffpostteen.