Teens Are Having a Hard Time Getting Summer Jobs

And, since working in the summer can predict future job prospects, that matters. 
More
Library of Congress

In light of a report from Bloomberg yesterday that drew attention to the remarkably generous wages picked up by the tech industry’s young summer interns—their monthly salaries can exceed the 2012 average for U.S. households by nearly $2,000—it’d be easy to make the mistake of thinking that the youth these days have it easy.

But today, Erin McCarthy of the Wall Street Journal posted about a discouraging report put out by Challenger, Gray & Christmas on teens’ summer employment: Hires of 16- to 19-year-olds in May and June dropped 12 percent in comparison to last year. The teen unemployment rate has been in decline in the past year, but this, according to the report, has mainly to do with teens who have dropped out of the job search in favor of less aggravating pursuits, like volunteer work, sports, and, presumably, hanging out.


 Summer Hires in Decline

WSJ.com

This may not seem problematic, but recent research indicates that the summer unemployed might be losing ground to their working peers. A study out of the University of British Columbia published in the most recent issue of Research in the Sociology of Work found that teens who work evenings or summers are more likely to find better jobs and earn more money down the line.

The reason summer jobs can predict future success is that they allow teens to get acquainted with the working world and to expand their networks. Interestingly, it barely matters what the job consists of. Says UBC professor Marc-David Seidel, a co-author of the study, “Even flipping burgers has value—particularly if it leads to part-time work later during school."

 
Jump to comments
Presented by

Joe Pinsker is an assistant editor at The Atlantic. He has written for Rolling StoneForbes, and Salon.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

The Remote Warehouse Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where the Wild Things Go

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Adults Need Playtime Too

When was the last time you played your favorite childhood game?

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In