Summer Job Hunters Should Start Now . / Credit: Now Hiring Image via Shutterstock

Those looking for a summer job should have an easier time finding one this year, new research shows.

A study by the employment network Snagajob revealed that nearly 20 percent of businesses are planning to hire more summer staff this year, up from just 9 percent a year ago. In addition, the number of companies not expecting to make any summer hires at all is down 14 percentage points compared with 2012.

The research shows that overall, hiring managers expanding their summer payrolls are planning to hire an average of 30 seasonal workers, up from 27 last year.

Hourly wages are also expected to increase for the first time in two years. The study found that the average summer hourly wage is projected at $11.50, up from $10.90 in 2012.

"The economy has added jobs for the past four consecutive months, and it appears that hiring managers see that growth continuing into the summer," said Jason Hamilton, vice president of marketing for Snagajob. "Companies that are hiring are expecting to bring on more staff and offer higher wages, so this should be the best summer for hourly workers we’ve seen in several years."

Teenagers should be big benefactors from the increased hiring plans. The study discovered that one in three hiring managers believe it will be easy for teens to find a job this summer, up 13 percentage points since 2010.

Contributing to the ease in landing a job this summer is that hiring managers are expecting fewer returning workers. The study found that businesses are anticipating just 55 percent of their summer workforce will be returning employees, down 10 percentage points from last year.

The traits hiring managers are looking for in employees this summer include having a positive attitude, flexibility in when they work and previous experience.

Those looking for a summer job need to start the process now. Nearly one-quarter of the businesses surveyed are starting their summer hiring this month, with more than three-quarters of businesses expected to be finished with the process by the end of May.

As in years past, more than half of those surveyed believe that the biggest competition for summer jobs will be from among high school and college students.

The research was based on surveys of 1,005 hiring managers with responsibility for hiring summer, seasonal employees paid by the hour.

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