Despite dire jobs, teenagers looking for summer jobs are lucky

The hiring was a huge disappointment back in April, but teenagers looking for summer gigs may be lucky.

Of course, the Covid pandemic hit this group particularly hard. Last summer, the unemployment rate for 16 to 24 year olds was 18.5%, roughly twice as high as in the previous year. (July is usually the peak of youth employment.)

During the summer months, the teenage unemployment rate stands at 12.3%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and is expected to continue to decline.

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“While working youth had a particularly difficult hand during this pandemic, as the industries where they typically struggled the most jobs last spring and summer had reason to be optimistic as recruitment in those industries returned in recent months have risen. ” “said Luke Pardue, economist at the personnel provider Gusto.

In fact, the ailing leisure and hospitality industries saw the biggest hiring gains in an otherwise dismal job report on Friday. Restaurants and bars made up the bulk of the hiring as restrictions related to Covid were relaxed amid widespread vaccine distribution and declining cases.

In addition, rising labor demand is also driving hourly wages up. In April, the average hourly wage actually rose from the March level.

“In general, I believe that there is tremendous opportunity for teenagers looking to work this summer, given the challenges employers are facing in finding skilled workers,” said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at

“All of this, of course, exists as part of a pandemic,” he added. “Some teenagers, perhaps some with parenting guidance, may not want to look for work if they haven’t been vaccinated.”

However, according to a study by the Hamilton Project and the Brookings Institution, teens are less likely to seek work.

This is partly because there are more summer academic programs available and more teens doing community service as part of their graduation requirements or to bolster their college applications, in addition to more students doing unpaid internships, which the BLS doesn’t count, according to a separate report Analysis by the Pew Research Center.

The proportion of employed young people peaked 40 years ago and has since declined.

In 1979 nearly 60% of American teenagers were employed, an all-time high. Today, just over a third, or 35%, of young people between the ages of 16 and 19 are part of the workforce.

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