Today, fewer than three in ten American teenagers are able to find summer jobs. These figures have fallen off particularly quickly since 2000, and the number of 16- to 19-year-olds at work is at its lowest since World War II.
Older workers, immigrants, and young college grads are now taking the low-level work formerly filled by America’s teenagers, and economists have suggested that this change might be permanent.
Betsey Stevenson, former chief economist for the labor department and now a professor at Wharton and Princeton University, joins us to discuss these figures. Laura Reiter is an unemployed 18-year-old from Minnesota, and her mother, Diane Reiter, is the author of the blog “It’s all good until you burn dinner.”