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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Most teens say ‘no’ to summer jobs

Most teenagers won’t be working this summer, reports Ben Steverman onBloomberg News. The summer job has gone from rite of passage to passe.

In 1988-89, nearly 70 percent of 16- to 19-year-olds had summer jobs or were looking for a job. That fell to 53 percent in 2006 and 43 percent in 2016.

Fewer teens are working during the school year, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Teen labor force participation peaked at 57.9 percent in 1979, fell to 34.1 percent in 2011, and is projected to drop below 27 percent in 2024.

(Teens are) being crowded out of the workforce by older Americans, now working past 65 at the highest rates in more than 50 years. Immigrants are competing with teens for jobs; a 2012 study found that less educated immigrants affected employment for U.S. native-born teenagers far more than for native-born adults.

High school students are more likely to be taking enrichment and college classes in the summer, concludes the BLS. During the school year, college-bound students are taking more challenging classes and loading up on extracurriculars to impress college admissions officers.

Everyone learns a lot in their first job, if only to show up on time and listen to the boss. It’s tough to have to do that learning at 22 instead of 16 or 17.

If you don’t count babysitting, I started my working career as an assistant Sunday School teacher. In my first summer job, at 18, I was an interviewer and office flunky for a market-research firm.

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