Teens Struggle in Tight Job Market

Summer work grows rarer in weak economy
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 25, 2008 10:32 AM CDT
Lila Woloshin, left, walks with her mother Mara in downtown Portland, Ore., April 16, 2008. Like many of the nation's high school students, Woloshin is finding that summer jobs are scarcer this year.   (AP Photo/RickBowmer)
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(Newser) – The economic downturn has taken a toll on teenagers searching for a summer job, the New York Times reports. With the teen job market at its smallest in decades, less than a third of teens are expected to be employed this summer, says a Northeastern University study—a far cry from the 45% working in 2000.

“They just say, ‘We’ll call you tomorrow.’ And no one ever calls back,” says one teen. Key youth employers like retailers and restaurants are hiring more slowly as Americans spend less—and often, adults stand in the way of teens’ hopes. “Kids always go to the back of the hiring queue. Now, they find themselves with a lot of other people in line ahead of them,” says the study’s leader.