If your teenager has neglected to find a summer job since the end of the school year this year, don’t be too disappointed: It may have more to do with the economy than motivation.
For the third year in a row, teens seeking summer employment face a hiring slump. In the summers of 2010 and 2011, economists say, teen hiring was at its lowest levels since World War II. This summer, the unemployment rate for 16- to 19-year-olds is 24.9 percent nationally; in some major metropolitan areas it’s much higher.
Federal stimulus money was given to some cities in 2009 and 2010 to create summer job opportunities for teens. But, in many cases, the funding dried up and has proved an unsustainable means of creating teenage jobs, according to reports.
According to Reuters:
Los Angeles – with the help of federal stimulus money – created around 15,000 summer jobs for teenagers in 2009 and 2010. But as the federal program ended, that was slashed to about 6,000 in 2011. It will not rise this year…
New York City had 52,000 summer jobs for teens in 2009. Now the program is half that size. It has five applicants for every job…
Washington, D.C.’s teenage unemployment rate was 51.7 percent, an analysis by research fellow Michael Saltsman of the Employment Policies Institute showed.
Even if summer jobs in retail establishments and parks are drying up due to a weak economy, there is some good news for teens looking for extra cash this summer. Less economy-dependent positions like baby-sitting, dog-sitting, housekeeping, lawn-mowing and collecting scrap metal can all fit well into the wide-open summertime schedule of teen job seekers with an entrepreneurial spirit who may have more flexibility than their job-seeking adult counterparts.