Summer Jobs Dwindling for America's Teens

Friday, June 15, 2012

Summer Jobs (alovesdc/flickr)

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.”


Diane Reiter, Laura Reiter and Betsey Stevenson

Produced by:

John Light and Kristen Meinzer

Comments [2]

Ariadne from NYC

I very much feel for you, Laura - I'm a little older than you, having come of working age in the mid-1990s, and I credit the after-school and entry level jobs I did in my teens in high school and early 20s in college with my ability to get work once I graduated - much more so than my degree, which gave me no practical work experience at all. I hope you and so many others are able to find ways to make things work. My only advice for gaining more work experience might be to volunteer. Even though I've had a professional career for a decade now, I do volunteer work related to my field to fill in gaps in my experience and to have opportunities to learn essential skills I don't get to develop in my paid day job - and it's definitely paying off.

Jun. 15 2012 08:47 AM

Billions for summer jobs in the stimulus worked out well didn't it? Now we just need billions more in money we don't have. The former chief economist for the Obama Labor Department should stop with the bad advice and just apologize to these women.

Jun. 15 2012 08:36 AM

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