Summer jobs picture is better but not good

(MoneyWatch) There's some good news if you're looking for a job this summer: Seasonal job opportunities will be the highest they've been in five years. Unfortunately, that's not saying much.

Nearly 30 percent of employers are planning to hire seasonal workers this summer, according to CareerBuilder's annual Summer Jobs Forecast. Just like the general employment picture, the summer jobs market appears to have stalled. The 30 percent figure is unchanged from last year but is up significantly from an average of 21 percent from 2008 to 2011. The report is based on a nationwide survey of more than 2,000 hiring managers and human resources professionals across industries and company sizes.

Seasonal work -- whether in retail or engineering -- is also a good entry point into the labor force for job seekers, as a vast majority of employers -- 67 percent -- will consider summer hires for permanent positions," said Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America.

Anyone hankering for one the few jobs should get a move on: More than half of all employers will complete their seasonal hiring in May or June. The sectors most likely to hire summer help are leisure and hospitality (47 percent expect to hire), manufacturing (34 percent), information technology (34 percent) and retail (33 percent).

Not all the jobs will involve stocking shelves or clearing tables. Companies hiring summer workers in 2013 will offer positions in a variety of support and technical positions:

-- Office support (27 percent)

-- Customer service (22 percent)

-- Information technology (20 percent)

-- Engineering (18 percent)

Pay for summer jobs is likely to be better than some older folks remember it. Two-thirds of employers will pay their summer hires $10 or more per hour -- up from 58 percent in 2011:

-- $7.25-$9.99 (34 percent)

-- $10.00-$15.99 (46 percent)

-- $16.00-$19.99 (11 percent)

-- $20.00 or more (9 percent)

With the national unemployment rate for teens running around 25 percent, competition for jobs could be intense. But it's not just other teens who will be after these jobs. Recent college graduates, who are also facing a tough job market, are increasingly having to take lower-skilled and lower-paying jobs than they would have prior to the financial crisis.