From bagging groceries to scooping ice cream to delivering newspapers, summer jobs were a rite of passage for American teenagers. In 1978, 72 percent of Americans ages 16 to 19 were either working or looking for jobs. In 2016, only 43 percent of teenagers were active on the job market.
So what happened? It’s not that teens are lazy, it’s that their priorities have changed: instead of making money, many are focused on summer classes, internships, and building their resumes for college. They’re also facing some new competition in the workplace.
We talk about the current job market for teens, and the tradeoffs of paid work versus unpaid skill-building activities. Our guests:
- Antwan Williams, director of youth services at RochesterWorks!
- Eleanor Lenoe, Brighton High School graduate and incoming freshman at the University of Rochester
- Simon Lenoe, Brighton High School graduate and incoming freshman at Carnegie Mellon University
- Desire Rause, counselor at Greece Olympia High School