Summer Jobs for Teens? Not Likely 

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For older generations of Americans, their first summer job may be remembered as an opportunity to raise money for college, help put gas in their car or as their first foray into what would become a career. But summer jobs for today's teens are quickly becoming a rarity.

"It's summer, but where are the teenage workers?" read the headline in this morning's New York Times. "[Teens are] pressed for time, edged out by adults or just not finding an opportunity."

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that since 2000, the share of 16- to 19-year-olds who have secured a job, "has plummeted by 40 percent," according to The Times, "with fewer than a third of American teenagers in a job last summer." Teenagers' share of the American work force has never been this low.

Several factors are at play, including more students attending summer school to keep up with a proliferation of standardized testing, and more student athletes committing to year-round schedules. But the recession pushed many more American adults to seek second or even third jobs, pushing out teens from minimum-wage work that they could normally secure.

The Times also reports that the decline in federal support for summer jobs programs "has been steep." That, in spite of a study by the University of Chicago Crime Lab and the University of Pennsylvania that proves participants in summer jobs programs are 43 percent less likely to be arrested for violent crimes. 

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics - THE NEW YORK TIMES
  • The New York Times
  • Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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