No surprise here... the unemployment rate for 16-19-year-olds seeking jobs is almost 25%, as teens struggle to find part-time employment in poor economic times.
The economic turmoil that has left many Americans without work is having a disproportionate effect on teenage job-seekers, whose quest for entry-level positions often pits them against experienced older workers willing to take any job for a paycheck.
U.S. labor figures show the 2011 unemployment rate nationwide averaged just below 9%, but for job-seekers ages 16 to 19, it was almost 25% -- the third consecutive year in that range, and with some cities recording rates far higher. The figures reflect teens actively seeking jobs and do not include those not applying for positions.
Automation has also eliminated many of the after-school, weekend and summer jobs that had been the longtime domain of first-time workers as computerized equipment has helped companies trim positions in everything from local car washes to photocopy shops and supermarkets.
Participants discussing the trend at a forum Tuesday in Hartford, CT say that it's alarming, and that society suffers when an entire generation's chance to learn valuable workplace skills are delayed or denied. On a personal level, it's also a source of growing stress for teenagers who need jobs for experience, pocket money or to help their families.
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About Jim Liebelt
Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.
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