New York City teens who got a summer job didn’t earn more three years later, concludes a study that compared participants to applicants who lost the lottery. Getting a summer job didn’t change the odds of college enrollment.
But summer job participants were more likely to be alive three years later, researchers found. The incarceration rate fell by more than 10 percent and mortality by almost 20 percent for former summer job participants.
In Chicago, summer workers from high-poverty neighborhoods were less likely to commit a violent crime, another study found. Arrest rates for violence fell by 43 percent over 13 months.
“It might be teaching youths that not everything that happens is an affront to them, not to get quite so angry and not to throw that punch,” said Sara Heller, a Penn criminology professor. “It’s teaching them to manage their own thoughts and emotions more constructively.”
Fewer teens — especially low-income, minority youths — have summer jobs, according to a new report. Over the past 12 years, youth employment has declined by 40 percent. In 2013, “white male youths from high-income families were five times more likely to be employed than black male youths from low-income families.”