July 10, 2014

LIFE IN THE ERA OF HOPE AND CHANGE: Teens Are Having a Hard Time Getting Summer Jobs.

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.

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.

As I note in The New School, the other advantage of working is that it puts teenagers in a situation where they’re trying to win the approval of adults, rather than other teens.