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

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. That's 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. That is less than half the number who did 14 years ago. Eighteen- and 19-year-olds fared better. Some 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 it 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. So 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.

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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


COMMENTS (32)
  • samm3-hol
    8/25/2015 - 07:00 p.m.

    Older teens are more likely than younger teens to find a summer job, because for most jobs you have to be in your older teens. In horrible that in 2014, summer jobs dropped to 31.6 percent. Issues like early school schedules and unpaid summer internships could be why more kids aren't getting work. Teens doing these internships aren't being counted because they are unpaid. I'm going to have a summer job when I get older so I can get a 14-16 percent rude in my income in my twenty.

  • Eugene0808-YYCA
    8/28/2015 - 03:07 a.m.

    I think teens should get an opportunity to have some type of job so they get a feel of what life is like when making money to pay for college tuition. They should be able to understand what will be coming up for them and they need to experience it. Teens are supposed to prepare for their adult lives.
    Why are younger teens less likely to find summer jobs that older teens?
    Answer: Younger teens are less likely to find summer jobs because of early school schedules and the rise of unpaid summer internships.

  • tashag-1-mci
    9/02/2015 - 11:47 a.m.

    Younger teens are less likely to find a summer job because of early school schedules and the rise of unpaid summer internships.

  • mattv-fel
    9/04/2015 - 02:14 p.m.

    Younger Teens are less likely to find summer jobs than older teens because younger teens have less experience in the field, and are less educated than older teens. Places that have job openings are more likely to hire the older teens than the younger ones.

  • elizabetht-fel
    9/04/2015 - 02:14 p.m.

    Younger teens are less likely to find summer jobs due to school schedules being earlier and the rise of unpaid internships must be to blame. Another rising problem is that younger teens have less experience in the field then older teens do.

  • kolbyd-fel
    9/04/2015 - 02:15 p.m.

    Younger teens are having a hard time finding summer jobs because they don't have the experience like older teens do.

  • coled-fel
    9/04/2015 - 02:15 p.m.

    CTQ: Younger teens are less likely to find a job because older teens are more mature, rather, more experienced with work than younger teens would be.

  • kyleighp-fel
    9/04/2015 - 02:15 p.m.

    Younger teens are less likely to find a summer job then older teens because their employers may view them as unexperienced or immature. An older teen may be seen as maturer then their younger counterparts.

  • mimir-fel
    9/04/2015 - 02:15 p.m.

    Younger teens are less likely to find a summer job than older teens because older teens are often more skilled and matured for a job than a young teen.

  • ethanb-1-fel
    9/04/2015 - 02:15 p.m.

    Older Teens have a better chance to get a summer job than younger teens because older teens have more adult like skills as younger teens have just started learning

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