Counselors welcomed kids to area summer camps Monday. Many of those counselors are high school and college students, who said they're lucky to have their jobs. As our Megan Cruz tells us, for the last couple years, the summer job outlook has been anything but sunny.
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GUILDERLAND, N.Y. -- Monday marked day one of summer camp at Camp Nassau in Guilderland. For first-time counselor Jeffrey Cooley, he's excited to dive right in.
"Extremely!" said Cooley. "I'm so glad I got this job. I love working at Camp Nassau. I love working - period. Any money for college is useful, even if this just covers my textbooks for next year, it'd be worth it."
Cooley just finished his freshman year at Western New England University in Massachusetts. He said he was worried he wouldn't get a job this summer, like a number of his friends.
"I had a friend apply to a Walgreens at his hometown in Connecticut to get his job back, but they had hired a guy who had recently been laid off at another pharmacy store because he had so much more experience at that store, so they laid my friend off," Cooley said.
According to the Department of Labor, it's been the growing trend these past several summers: a dwindling job market for high school and college students as the national unemployment rate has hovered at 8-9%. In April, the unemployment rate for 16 to 19 year olds was up to 25 percent.
Nassau's camp director says his 50 jobs were in high demand this summer.
"We had over 100 applications for those jobs," said Brian Robinson. He's the summer camp director for the Guilderland YMCA. "There was definitely a big pool, had a lot to chose from. Felt bad because we had a lot of good applicants but we couldn't bring them all back."
"Sports Authority, Olympia Sports, Dick's Sporting Goods," listed Cooley. Those were just a few of the places he considered if this camp job fell through. He hopes the grass is greener next year, given the importance of summer jobs for he and his peers.
"Those that get it now have work experience under their belts, strengthen their college resumes, and those that are already in college, they can look for internships and it just overall helps you out in the long run," Cooley said.