Are summer jobs a thing of the past?
August 14, 2015
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It used to be an American custom. It happened as soon as school let out for the summer. Many teens went to work. They wore their fast food uniform. Or they wore their grocery store apron. Or maybe a hotel name tag. They went to work at a summer job. But that practice is not happening as much now. Pew Research did a study. They said summer jobs for teens are becoming a thing of the past.
Pew looked at the average job rates of teenagers. It looked at the summer months between 1948 and 2014. It found that the number of teens who have summer jobs has fallen. It has dropped a lot. Fifty-five percent of teens held jobs during July. Those teens were between the ages of 16 and 19. It was from 1974 to 1984. That is when the number of teens with jobs is usually the highest. That number fell to just below 45 percent in 2004. Things were even worse by 2014. Only 31.6 percent of teens had jobs during that summer.
Pew said something about younger a teens. It said they are less likely to find a job. Twenty percent of 16- and 17-year-olds had jobs last summer. That is less than half the number who did 14 years ago. Eighteen- and 19-year-olds did better. Some 43.6 percent were had jobs last summer. But that job rate was still lower. It was nearly 20 percent less than teens in the 2000's.
Why aren't kids getting more work? It is tricky. Pew said that it was falling youth jobs over time. It said there are other issues. Like early school schedules. And more unpaid summer internships. Those might be to blame. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not count unpaid internships as a job. So all the teens doing internships aren't being counted.
But not having a summer job does not just mean more time to hang out with friends. It can have real effects on teens. They do not get a chance to build their job skills. That is what Andrew Sum says. He is a youth job expert. He works at Northwestern University. He told Pew that every year teens work is important. He said they would make 14- to 16-percent more money. That would happen when they are in their twenties.
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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why are younger teens less likely to find summer jobs that older teens?
Write your answers in the comments section below