Teen unemployment at a record high
The percentage of teens ages 16 to 19 who wanted to work this summer but couldn’t find a job soared to 25% in August, 2009. Reportedly, this is the highest unemployment rate for this age group since 1948. This comes at a time when unemployment for adults is almost at 10%.
The recession obviously accounts for some of the downturn. The youngest and most inexperienced workers are often the first to be laid off and the last to be rehired. Businesses that rely on seasonal help hired fewer teenagers this summer.
Economists also attributed the decline in jobs for teens to the number of recent college graduates working in lower paying jobs once held by younger employees. On the other end of the spectrum are older workers staying on the job longer and not retiring early. Some also think that the raise in the minimum wage to $7.25 per hour contributes to a reluctance to hire teenagers.
The upside of this problem is an increase in students applying to college. Further education will increase earning potential later in life. Bottom line: live at home as long as you’re able and stay in school.
Update: The figures for October, 2009 showed unemployment at 10.2%, the highest percentage since 1983. Almost 16 million Americans were out of work.