Are summer jobs a thing of the past?
Are summer jobs a thing of the past? (Thinkstock)
Are summer jobs a thing of the past?
Lexile: 1260L

Assign to Google Classroom

It used to be an American tradition: as soon as school let out for the summer, many teens donned their fast food uniform, grocery store apron, or hotel name tag and went to work at a summer job. But the experience that seemed routine for people of the past is becoming a rarity: according to Pew Research, summer jobs for teens are becoming a thing of the past.

When Pew examined the average employment rates of teenagers during summer months between 1948 and 2014, it found that the share of teens who score summer jobs has fallen sharply in recent decades. In 1974 and 1984, just over 55 percent of teens between the ages of 16 and 19 held jobs during July, when teen employment typically peaks. But that number fell to just below 45 percent in 2004 - and by 2014, things were even worse, with only 31.6 percent of teens employed during the summer.
Pew notes that the younger a teen is, the less likely they are to find a job. Last summer, 20 percent of 16- and 17-year-olds had jobs (less than half the number who did 14 years ago). Eighteen- and 19-year-olds fared better, 43.6 percent were employed last summer, but that employment rate was still nearly 20 percent lower than that of their 2000 counterparts.
Why aren't kids getting more work? It's tricky. Pew cites falling youth employment over time, but notes that other issues like early school schedules and the rise of unpaid summer internships might be to blame. And the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not count unpaid internships as employment, so all the teens doing internships aren't being counted in these estimates. The competitive post-recession job market could be to blame.
But skipping out on summer employment doesn't just mean more time to hang out with friends. It can have real impacts on teens who don't get a chance to build their job skills, says Andrew Sum, a youth employment expert at Northwestern University. In 2009, he told the Pew Charitable Trusts' Christine Vestal that for every year teens work, they can expect a 14 to 16 percent rise in their income during their twenties.

Source URL:

Filed Under:  
Assigned 69 times
Why are younger teens less likely to find summer jobs that older teens?
Write your answers in the comments section below

  • kirstenk-bag
    8/17/2015 - 08:02 p.m.

    I think older teens are more responsible than younger teens. Plus older teens can actually drive themselves to work.

  • nicholasj-bag
    8/20/2015 - 08:04 p.m.

    Some teens wont be able to drive themselves to work. Also some teens are not ready for a big job. They often forget things or loose things. bosses don't trust younger teens as much as older teens.

  • lilym-1-bag
    8/20/2015 - 10:49 p.m.

    It might be because there are more distractions for younger teens and the older teens are probably way more responsible. Another thing is that most jobs now days don't except young teens.

  • eliset-bag
    8/24/2015 - 01:14 a.m.

    Younger teens are less likely to find summer jobs because of earlier school schedules and the job markets going down.

  • laurenc-bag
    8/27/2015 - 06:30 p.m.

    I think that younger teens are having a harder time finding jobs because not many "preteens" are not really.... Trusted, these days, I dare say? I mean, preteens kind of have a steryotype. You hear all those stories of some kid bringing weapons to school. I'm not saying this to represent all preteens, I'm just stating a steryotype. And most preteens aren't really willing to go to work, with all the new technology.

    8/31/2015 - 07:15 p.m.

    Parts of American culture are getting summer jobs. It has been a practice in American culture for many of years. To see summer jobs go, I would be very disappointed because it has been a practice for so long. Getting a job as a teenager is a part of life and helps young adults experience the working world while still in school. This is part of American culture, allowing students to get jobs while still in school. Older teens are more likely to get a job because of working laws(if under 18 you need to have working permit for liability) transportation and un-experienced workers.

  • lenning,kaitlyn-cas
    9/12/2015 - 08:44 p.m.

    1. Younger teens are less likely to find summer jobs than older teens due to early school schedules and the decline of youth employment over time.
    2. In my opinion, it makes sense that more older teens are being hired today due to the fact they are more responsible. The majority of older teens have graduated and can provide their own transportation; therefore they can be counted on to work more often. Although, I believe it is unfortunate for younger teens looking to gain experience and learn responsibility from a summer job to be turned down for one.

  • sarainar-hub
    9/17/2015 - 09:40 a.m.

    Summer jobs seem like an easy way to make cash in the summer.

  • kelseyd-hub
    9/17/2015 - 09:41 a.m.

    Younger teens are less likely to find summer jobs than older teens because younger teens are not as mature as older teens also older teens can get themselves to work faster than younger teens.

  • paceyo-hub
    9/17/2015 - 09:42 a.m.

    I dont know if this is true but pew says so and i agree

Take the Quiz Leave a comment