Report: Summer job market best in five years for teens

"The job gains not only signal better conditions for retailers, leisure and entertainment establishments and tourist destinations, but the fact that these jobs were not being filled by older workers suggests that these more experienced job seekers are finding better positions.” 

With many in that age group returning to school this month, the number of employed teenagers have dropped by an average of 523,000 in August in the previous five years. 

“It is too early to tell, but the strong summer hiring could be a precursor to improved holiday hiring," Challenger said. 

Holiday hiring has increased for three consecutive years, after falling to a near record low in 2008. However, unlike summer seasonal hiring, teens are not the primary beneficiaries of holiday employment gains.

"Many of the establishments that add summer workers — retailers, restaurants, movie theaters and hotels — are the ones adding extra workers during the holiday season."

In July, employers hired 382,000 teen workers, up 26 percent from 2011, when teen employment increased by 302,000.