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Teen Employment Rates Go Down Considerably

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While it used to be normal for all teens to want to start working as soon as they turned 16, the number of teens holding onto jobs in the U.S. gets dropping. In the last ten years, the number of working teenagers has dropped by a shocking 20 percent. This is the lowest they have been since World War II, according to a recent study performed by the Brookings Institution, according to The Plain Dealer.

The report shows that in 2000, 45 percent of teens between 16 and 19 were employed, and 72 percent of young adults had jobs. A decade later in 2011, just 26 percent of teens within these age ranges were working, and the employed young adult group dropped to 61 percent. Andrew Sum, co-author of the book, “The Plummeting Labor Market Fortunes of Teens and Young Adults” believes these numbers to be a warning sign for what is to come. He believes by not holding a job as a teenager or young adult sets them up for failure and a life of struggling to get stable employment. It improves their risk for unemployment status as adults, and also makes them less employable and the risk of lower wages than others with the same job titles.

Sum told reporters, “The more limited your work experience, it lowers the likelihood that you are going to be working the following year and the year after.” He also goes on to say that with the lower percentage of teens working today, the less adults that are going to be employed in the future.

Due to these numbers, Sum mentions that it isn’t that surprising that the overall employment rates for young adults between 20 and 24 also fell. The report found that in 2011, adults under the age of 54 were far less likely to be employed than in 2000. For the first time since World War II, accounting departments found that there weren’t more payroll jobs at the end of this 10-year span than before, which almost never happens. The steepest declines, not surprisingly, are with teenagers and young adults.

Another section of this report reveals the overall impact that not being employed as a teen has on their adulthood. While in some cases, parents don’t want their teens to work to dedicate more time for school or various other reasons, it can hurt their employability in the future. Employers tend to be less likely to hire someone as a young adult who has never worked before, not even a typical part-time after school job. The report shows that adults who had worked 40 weeks or more in the previous year when looking for a job were 86 percent more likely to find a job than those working just 1-13 weeks in the previous year.

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Teen Employment Rates Go Down Considerably by
Authored by: Jim Vassallo