Why American Teens Aren’t Working Summer Jobs Anymore
Bloomberg - 08/07/2015
This was supposed to be a better year for teenagers to land summer jobs, and July has always been the peak month for such positions. Things haven’t worked out that way, according to the Labor Department’s latest jobs report.
On an unadjusted basis — which is probably fairer given the question is seasonal jobs — there was a 1.2 million increase in teen employment last month compared with the average for the school months of January through May. That was close to last year’s tally, yet well below all but two years since the 1950s.
Worse yet, at 41.3 percent, the July labor force participation rate of teens was the lowest for the month in the post-World War II period.
The teenage summer job has been going the way of telephone booths and the cassette tape for decades. The length of the downward trend has been masked by the fact that it’s hard to tease apart teen summer jobs from teen employment more generally.