If you are over thirty years old, chances are you worked as a teenager. You gained skills, knowledge, confidence, and a work-ethic through this experience; it was an important part of your growth. Unfortunately, things have changed in recent times. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 1980, 57% of teens aged 15-19 were employed in some capacity during the summer or school year. By the year 2000, that number had dropped to about 50%. As of today, that figure has been halved; with only 25% of young people able to find jobs.
Meanwhile, research shows that having work experience as a teen increases the chances that a school will complete college to obtain a bachelors degree, obtain higher level position (more benefits, more opportunities), and earn %22 more later in their adult life.
Unfortunately, many young people face the classic "catch-22" of employment: You can't get a job, because you don't have experience. However, you can't get experience unless you have a job. This is a problem, because teen employment benefits the whole community. Furthermore, there are costs to us as a community, state, and nation when we don’t invest in the career development of our youth in this way. To learn more about research on teen employment and unemployment, click here.
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