Business, Economics and Jobs

The death of summer jobs

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(Image by flickr user silverlinedwinnebago (cc: sa-nc-nd))

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This story was originally covered by PRI's The Takeaway. For more, listen to the audio above.

Teens have been hit hard by the current recession. The unemployment rate has nearly doubled in the last three years, from 10 percent to about 20 percent. Though 18-24 year olds account for 13.5 percent of the workforce, they now account for 26.4 percent of unemployed workers, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

At the same time, older people have been hurt by the recession, too. And many of them are now competing with younger people for the same jobs. Lois Smude, whose family owns the Paul Bunyan Land Theme Park in Brainerd, Minnesota, told "The Takeaway" that she is now hiring both fourteen year olds and retirees who are older than 70. In general, her jobs pay minimum wage of about $6 per hour.

All over the country, "fewer employers are hiring summer help, and there lots of experienced adults who are really looking for work," according to leadership trainer Justin Jones-Fosu.

For teenagers looking for a job, Jones-Fosu recommends looking in places that prefer to hire teens, including summer camps, market research organizations, and pools for life guarding. He also mentions groovejob.com, gotajob.com and teensforhire.org as places to find summer employment. For older job seekers, Jones-Fosu suggests emphasizing the experience and professionalism that can only come from years on the job.

"The Takeaway" is a national morning news program, delivering the news and analysis you need to catch up, start your day, and prepare for what's ahead. The show is a co-production of WNYC and PRI, in editorial collaboration with the BBC, The New York Times Radio, and WGBH.

More at thetakeaway.org