Vanishing Work Among U.S. Teens, 2000-10: What a Difference a Decade Makes!

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Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University

This study reveals that since 2000, the employment rate of teens (16 to 19) and young adults without four-year college degrees has declined sharply. During June 2010, only 28.6 percent of the nation’s teens were estimated to be employed according to a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

It has become more difficult for teens, especially younger, low-income and minority youth, to obtain any type of employment during the summer.

Congress recently failed to pass legislation that would have provided up to $1 billion in funds to state and local workforce development agencies to create subsidized jobs for youth during the summer.

According to the report, cumulative work experience during teenage years has a significant and positive impact on employment, hourly wages and earnings of young adults in their mid- twenties.

Also, teens who work in high school, especially males, are less likely to drop out before graduation. Teens without jobs that are also low-income are more likely to engage in delinquent behavior, and become involved with the criminal justice system, according to the report.

Free. 11 pages.