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.