Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Teens struggle to squeeze into the job market

Compiled by Herb Scribner, Deseret News National Edition

Published: Fri, March 14 6:15 p.m. MDT

 Teens are having a tough time getting into the job market. The last decade has teen 16 to 18 year olds lose the amount of opportunities for jobs.

Teens are having a tough time getting into the job market. The last decade has teen 16 to 18 year olds lose the amount of opportunities for jobs.

(Getty Images)

Growth is one thing teenagers won’t find in the job market.

A new report shows that jobs won’t be easy to come by for teenagers. Hartford Business recently reported that opportunity for employment for teens has dropped considerably over the past decade, going from 45 percent in 2000 to 26 percent in 2011, according to a study done by the Brookings Research Institute.

Provo, Utah, has the highest teen employment rate in the United States with about 49 percent of people aged 16 to 19 finding jobs, Hartford Business reported.

The study found that under utilization — “meaning they're either looking for a job, would like to work but aren't looking, or they have a part-time job but would prefer to work full-time” — was a root cause for the lack of growth in teen employment opportunities, Hartford Business reported.

"Underutilization spiked, and that wouldn't happen if people were happily in school and not wanting to work," said Martha Ross, co-author of Brookings’ report.

Another author of the report, Andrew Sum, recently spoke with Bloomberg about the findings, and said it’s a shame that people aren’t taking notice of the lack of teen jobs.

“If the employment rate went down 20 percentage points for adults, what would you call it?” he asked, according to Bloomberg. “For teenagers, it’s worse than the Great Depression. The question is, why don’t we care?”

It’s going to have effects in the future, too, Sum said, according to Bloomberg. People who can’t find a job when they’re young, he said, are less likely to find one when they’re no longer teenagers, according to Bloomberg.

With the market changing, this isn’t a good sign for teens. Bill Gates recently said at the American Enterprise Institute that technology is going to lead to less jobs, The Blaze reported. This could leave teens in the dark and without an opportunity to find work.

And this is coming at a time when teenage culture is under the microscope. The Atlantic recently published a video previewing a documentary called “Teenage,” which looks at the emergence of youth culture. And The Guardian recently asked readers to send in their thoughts on what it’s like to live as a teenager.

Email: hscribner@deseretnews.com

Twitter: @hscribner

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1. jrgl
CEDAR CITY, UT,
March 14, 2014

Kind of blows a hole in the theory that teenagers are the only ones making minimum wage and therefore no change is necessary.

2. Nosea
Forest Grove, OR,
March 15, 2014

But the "job creators" are creating all these jobs for everyone, just ask the 1% -- we should be grateful. We should be worshiping the 1%, as they are so benevolent (or is it condescending?) to the rest of us.

3. Hutterite
American Fork, UT,
March 15, 2014

It's a tough job market, but don't be so hasty to discount lazy.

4. samhill
Salt Lake City, UT,
March 15, 2014

To "jrgl" of Cedar City, who suggests this story somehow, "blows a hole in the theory that teenagers are the only ones making minimum wage and therefore no change is necessary". I've never heard or seen anyone actually theorize that, "teenagers are the only ones making minimum wage", you have managed to have a completely 180 degree out of phase interpretation of this information.

The fact that teenagers are having an ever more difficult time finding work actually confirms the worry that raising the minimum wage will put a consequently decreasing number of entry-level jobs into a pricing regime that **increases** competition for those jobs and place teenagers at an even greater disadvantage.

The biggest problem of not finding work is not simply the already substantial problem of not having an income, it is not gaining the experience of work that adds to one's skills and general ability to work.

My first formal job was as a janitor's assistant at an elementary school. I was 13 and earned the princely wage of $1.25/hr. Not surprisingly, what I learned about being reliable and working hard was worth far more to me in the long run than the money.

5. RG
Buena Vista, VA,
March 15, 2014

jrgl: I'm not sure where in the article it discusses the minimum wage, and how many teens vs. adults earn it. But speaking of the minimum wage, if there could be a lower minimum wage for teens, a lot more of them would get jobs. Then they'd have experience, and then they could get a raise or get a new job with a higher wage.