Study: Fewer Teens Working Summer Jobs

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Jun 5, 2017

A recent analysis by the Bureau of Labor Statistics finds that the summer job, once a rite of passage for teens across the country, has been on the decline, dropping 10 percent since 2006 and 27 percent since 1989, according to Bloomberg. While there are many theories as to why this is, ranging from more competition from adults and recent immigrants to diminishing financial benefits for these jobs, the BLS analysis point to another possible reason: school.

Education, said Bloomberg, is taking up an increasing amount of time: school districts have been lengthening the school day and the academic year. During this year, workloads have also gotten heavier, meaning less time for an after-school job. Even during summer, prime time for teen jobs, more and more students are finding themselves not manning the register at Burger King but taking classes and doing activities that help their college applications stand out. The BLS analysis noted that in July last year more than two in five people aged 16 to 19 were in summer school, four times as many in 1985. This is all contributing to a dearth of teenagers in the jobs typically associated with them, which in turn has led to more adults stepping in to fill the void. 

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