Seal of Little Rock

Friday, May 27, 2016

City of Little Rock Public Relations
Office (501) 371-4421

Media Releases

Contact(s): Jennifer Godwin | (o) 501 371 4421 | (c) 501 804 4822

Little Rock Named a Top Spot for Summer Jobs

Ranking Announced as City’s Summer Youth Employment Program Kicks Off 

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Little Rock ranks in the top tier of the 150 largest cities for summer jobs, according to WalletHub, coming in at No. 20 overall and No. 16 for its youth job-market outlook.

WalletHub’s analysts compared the relative strength of the summer-job market in the 150 largest U.S. cities using 18 metrics, including such factors as summer employment bump and the unemployment rate of residents ages 16-24.

According to the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, the state’s unemployment rate reached a record low of 3.9 percent in April, with several sectors projected to grow in the next few years. The national unemployment rate is 5 percent.

Cultivating a skilled workforce is crucial to keeping the job momentum. One of the initiatives offering career readiness and work experience for younger job seekers is the Summer Youth Employment Program through the City of Little Rock. Since 1996, the City’s Community Programs Department has provided summer jobs for Little Rock residents ages 16-21, each year giving hundreds of participants the opportunity for not only employment but also career-building skills. 

Five advantages of the Summer Youth Employment Program:

Earning a paycheck. For many participants, this is their first job beyond mowing lawns or babysitting. Gainful employment with regular hours is a step into the real world. This is also a great opportunity for participants to gain financial literacy and independence.

Networking in a future career field. Whether it’s in City Hall or in the business world, many participants find mentors at their summer jobs. Even when the job is over, the professional relationships last and can help open new doors in an exciting career field. Exposure to these different fields prompts participants to begin considering their future career choices.

Learning from experts in the interactive career crash course sessions. Know how to answer tough interview questions? What about creating a resume that gets noticed? Every week in the summer, a lunch class will cover real-world topics. Each week, participants can look forward to learning all the need-to-know information about what it takes to be successful in the workforce.

It’s an award-winning program with a tried and true formula. Some participants come back subsequent summers because they value the experience so much. Participants appreciate the easy application process, the convenience of working in areas that they live in, as well as the opportunity to form relationship with their mentors. Returning interns also begin to build their professional portfolios by establishing a rapport with their employers.

On-the-job training. Participants get the chance to hone their skills and add to their career toolbox, something not offered in most summer jobs. By providing a more hands-on experience participants get a more concrete foundation to build upon. They are not only gaining much-needed technical skills but those soft skills that are now considered just as important. 

Find out more about the WalletHub findings and methodology at