The recession is having a trickle-down effect on younger workers as older workers are getting jobs once filled by teens on summer vacation.
Last year, the Montgomery County’s Summer YouthWorks program daily bused 150 to 200 teenagers to Kings Island for jobs.
This year that number is down to 41.
That’s a precise snapshot of the summer job picture for teenagers.
“The jobs aren’t there. The companies that traditionally have hired kids for seasonal employment are hiring older workers now,” said Rocky Rockhold, supervisor of special projects and youth activities for the county Department of Jobs and Family Services.
Teen summer employment has dropped like a stone. A study by the Center for Labor Market Study at Northeastern University found the summer employment rate of 16- to 19-year-olds fell from 48.4 percent in 1989 to 32.7 percent last summer.
Things look worse for this summer. Another center study found that from October 2007 through November 2008, employment of those 30 and younger dropped by more than 1.2 million jobs. During the same period, more than 1 million jobs were added, filled by workers 55 and older.