Summer Job Drought Could Lead to Lifelong Labor Problems For Teens

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Whether it is working in a retail store or restaurant, or at a public park or camp, working a summer job is a high school memory for most Americans over the age of 40.

Do you remember a favorite summer job?

Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith does.

“One of my first summer jobs was as a tutoring coordinator at Oregon State University,” Smith says. “I will never forget that experience, which really helped me to become a better communicator and instilled in me the importance of responsibility.”

Whether it is working in a retail store or restaurant, or at a public park or camp, working a summer job is a high school memory for most Americans over the age of 40. However, this rite of passage has become a notably less frequent occurrence for today’s youth.

Nationally, nearly 60 percent of youth aged 16 to 19 held a summer job in 1989, but only about one quarter of the nation’s teens were employed during last summer, according to the Current Population Survey from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Read full artcile)