In just a few weeks, high school students along the coast will be out of school for summer break. And some teens have already begun hunting for summer jobs.
Last summer the nation saw its highest unemployment rate among teens since World War II. However, local business owners we talked to say they plan on hiring younger workers this summer.
Mrs. B Cinnamon Rolls is set to open in Edgewater Mall Friday morning. A sign posted reads, "Now Hiring." The store's owner says teens are enouraged to apply, especially as summer approaches.
"With cinnamon rolls, it's very labor-intensive. We make everything from scratch, and during the summer months, the demand is even higher. We will have a number of people in the kitchen, as well as the number of people in the front," said Donnie Barrett, owner of Mrs. B Cinnamon Rolls.
Barrett says summer jobs are a good opportunity for teens to make a little extra dough, and gain experience for a life-long career.
"They get to understand the workings of money, dealing with the public," he said.
Teen employment was down last summer with only 36-percent of 16 to 19 year olds working during the month of July. But if the hiring practices at Cici's Pizza are any indication, teens could soon be getting a bigger slice of the nation's job market.
"Our entire night shift is made up of young folks, which is about 70-percent of the workforce of the folks who work here for Cici's Pizza," said Bobby Tomson, owner of Cici's Pizza in Biloxi.
Eighteen-year-old Kristi McKinney was applying for a job at Cici's on Thursday afternoon. The teen's youth could actually work in her favor.
"If you've worked at a bunch of different places, one month here and one month there, that will actually work against you. I'd rather have someone with no experience sometimes, but who can produce a great smile and a great attitude," Thomson said.
That's good news for Kristi and other teens who will be looking for a job this summer.