This Year’s Outlook For Teen Employment, Brighter?

Spring starts next week, but it’s never too early for teenagers to start looking for summer jobs. Andrew Schneider reports the competition this year is likely to be fiercer than ever.

first job oldJohn Challenger, CEO of global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, says this year’s summer job outlook for teens is brighter than last year, but only just.

“Many government agencies do support some of the programs where teens get hired: camp counselors, lifeguards, people working for cities and state and local government. A lot of times, that’s one of the first jobs that teens get. Certainly, those programs are going to be cut back this summer.”

The consequences could go well beyond cutting into gas money or college savings.

“Jobs for teens are so important because it’s the way young people find their way in the workplace. They learn, in their first jobs, about responsibility, about being on time, about being reliable. When teen employment starts to drop, it means that people are less prepared for their working years.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that, between May and July last year, employers filled just 960,000 jobs with 16-to-19-year-olds. That’s the lowest level of summer hiring for teens since 1949.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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