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Employers and human resource teams are gearing up for a big summer hiring season and open to keeping workers for the long-term.

CareerBuilder finds that 41% of employers plan to bring on seasonal workers, up from 29% who said the same last year, the Society For Human Resource Management (SHRM) notes. The CareerBuilder survey, done by Harris Poll, covered 2,587 full-time employers and 3,420 full-time workers nationally between February and March.

Another survey by Snagajob, a job search engine website, finds that 67% of 1,000 hiring managers expect to hire more summer employees than in 2016. Just under 75% of employers that have hourly job openings said they plan to have all those slots filled by the end of last month, according to that survey.

Seasonal workers will find the best opportunities with larger employers, where 45% of firms with more than 500 employees are looking to fill summer positions, the CareerBuilder survey finds. That compares to 28% of businesses with 50 or fewer workers looking to hire. 

Employers in Miami (66%), New York City (58%), Washington, D.C. (46%) and Los Angeles (45%), 66% are hiring summer workers. And 79% of employers say they will pay $10 or more per hour on average, up from 74% who said the same last year. About 20% of employers expect to pay $20 or more per hour. 

As far as what job-seekers desire most from an employer, 36% want a flexible schedule, 27% want bonuses and 13% want benefits other than health insurance, the Snagajob survey notes. Fifty-two percent of hourly employers plan to offer flexible work shifts, the survey finds.

"These findings are consistent with other trends we're seeing as more and more workers enter the gig economy so they can grab shifts when and where they want," says Peter Harrison, CEO of Snagajob. "At a time when we have near-zero unemployment but still substantial underemployment, employers should consider how they offer increased workforce flexibility to stay ahead of the competition."

Some potential good news for hires who hope to keep working past the summer is a willingness by employers to slot them in permanent positions. Nearly 80% of employers in the CareerBuilder survey would consider keeping summer workers for the long haul.

"Like employees, employers shouldn't look at a summer job as a temporary placement," says Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder. "Think of it as a three-month-long working interview. Many seasonal workers will not be candidates for permanent positions, but some of them may be, either now or in the future."

Employers are keen on summer job seekers with a background in information technology and engineering as well as those interested in office support, sales and manufacturing, U.S. News & World Report finds. But employers were less interested in filling customer service jobs that tended to be popular in past summers.

More good news for 2017 high school and college graduates is the availability of more jobs and better pay since the recession 10 years ago. "Unemployment rates for young high school and young college graduates have returned to within one percentage point of their pre-recession levels and wages are continuing to slowly recover," the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) reports.

"While young high school graduates on average are still paid less than they were in 2007 (adjusted for inflation), the average wages of young college graduates have finally surpassed the 2007 level." But unemployment for young high school graduates is 16.9%. That compares with 15.9% in 2007 and 12.1% in 2000, according to EPI.

For new college graduates, the unemployment rate sits at 5.6%. That rate was 5.5% in 2007 and 4.3% in 2000. Employers also aim to hire 5% more college graduates from the Class of 2017 than they did from last year’s class, The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) finds in a recent report.

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