Getting Kids Out Of The House Just Got Easier: Summer Jobs For Teens Hit 6-Year High

An allowance? Who still gets an allowance these days? It seems teens will have plenty of opportunities to make their own cold hard cash this summer, as a new report says the amount of 16- to 19-year-olds landing jobs is off to its strongest start since 2006.

According to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., almost 160,000 teens landed jobs in May, reports the Los Angeles Times. Compare that to last May’s 71,000 and you’ve got a nice little number right there.

The worst season recently for teen jobs was in 2010, when employers only hired about 6,000 teens that May. That was the lowest amount of teens getting hired since 1949.

But just because there are jobs out there for hardworking teens, not all youngsters even want to be working in the summer. The number of teens not looking for work at all has gone up steadily since 1994, says the LAT.

To that, I’d like to quote my grandpa: “Get off your rump and learn the value of a dollar!”

Summer jobs for teens soar to highest level in six years [Los Angeles Times]

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  1. unpolloloco says:

    *number* of 16- to 19-year-olds

  2. crispyduck13 says:

    This could be good or bad news. Good if less adults with job experience and degrees are clamoring for these low paying jobs because their own job market is opening back up.

    Or bad because holy shit dad/mom is still out of work and more teenagers are having to go out there and help pay the bills.

    Or neither, I don’t know anymore…

    • econobiker says:

      Or perhaps more enforcement of immigration standards removing the market formerly filled by people with less than adequate immigration documentation…

      • Peggee has pearls and will clutch them when cashiers ask "YOU GOT A WIC CHECK MA'AM?" says:

        I doubt it. That seemed to be something they talked about doing more than actually did something about doing.

        Like jobs…

        • Kuri says:

          Well of course, then the politicians might have to pay someone 6 dollars more to mow their lawns.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      I think it derives more from mom/dad situations. Not necessarily that they aren’t working, but perhaps that they have less-paying jobs than they did, or their dollars just are going as far as they used to due to inflated operating costs.

      So maybe these kids’ parents aren’t struggling, but they can’t afford to give their kids everything they want over the summer (see: some spending money) so the kids decide to work to earn enough to enjoy the non-working hours.

    • Martha Gail says:

      I’m willing to bet employers aren’t looking to pay grown-up wages. Kids will take $7.25/hr (minimum wage here in Texas) without bitching.

  3. VintageLydia says:

    This is good to hear.

    I know some teens are told NOT to get jobs so they can concentrate on academics (I knew a few kids who took classes in the summer to open up their school schedule for more advanced classes at a magnet school they’d attend for the latter half of every day.) But even when I was in high school (early 2000′s in an almost booming economy) not every one of us could get jobs. Employers still prefered to higher someone who was going to be around longer than 3 months. And we lived in a resort city with lots of seasonal work! But the summer “season” still started a month before classes ended and ended a month after school started.

    • thomwithanh says:

      Even when I was in my early twenties and in college, getting a job while at home on Cape Cod for the summer was extremely difficult. Usually, the interview went something like this:

      *Hello Thomwithanh, are you a student?
      **Why yes I am.
      *Do you go to Cape Cod Community College?
      **No, I go to Ithaca College in New York.
      *Thank you very much, have a nice day.

    • Powerlurker says:

      In most of East Asia, school rules prohibit part time employment for high school students. In China, if you’re working while in high school, it’s because the only other option for your family is starvation.

  4. brinks says:

    As a hiring manager for a place that pays its entry-level workers near minimum wage, I’d hire more teenagers if I could. They tend not to bitch about the low wages and don’t tend to have as many bad habits as the older folks who are applying for the same jobs. They also don’t yet have that inevitable hopeless view of their future, so they still have lots of enthusiasm.

    However, this year, I’ve interviewed about a half dozen people under age 20, and all but one has come in wearing jeans, sometimes even with flip-flops. Is no one giving these kids any guidance? At school or at home? I’ve been a hiring manager for similar positions over the years, but it seems like kids are less and less prepared for any kind of real-world task each year. I really hope this changes.

    Now get off my lawn!

    • Blueskylaw says:

      I feel distressed at where I see our country’s youth heading. Between going to COLLEGE in pajamas and flip-flops, their inability to spell words in nothing but Twitter language, not capitalizing their “I’s” in a sentence or the first letter in a sentence, thinking Stalin is the name of a grunge band and not knowing what century the Civil War took place in let alone knowing the exact years, I truly feel that we as a country are in a steady decline that will eventually result in the United States becoming a second rate country if not disappearing altogether (though not in my lifetime).

      Here’s my Phil question:

      In what other ways are our youth “STUPIDING” America?

      • brinks says:

        You’ve seen Idiocracy, right? That is our future.

        • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

          It is our here and now. My husband and I are always pointing out total Idiocracy moments in real life. It’s quite scary.

      • brinks says:

        You’ve seen Idiocracy, right? That is our future.

      • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

        Me too. As a teacher, can honestly say that about 75% of kids just don’t care about school, learning, working, etc… when I first started teaching in the late 1990′s it wasn’t so much that way. It seems like when texting became the norm, the kids really stopped caring about anything else. Many of them can hardly function. Their parents don’t care either. I can’t tell you how many students come to school without their homework and go to bed at 2am on a school night after staying up and texting all night. Parents need to take the phone at bed time and insist on lights out at a certain time. They need to give their kids study time even if they have no homework. Parents need to start being parents and stop worrying about whether their kids like them. They need to have expectations of their kids.

      • jimbobjoe says:

        Ok…I’ll bite…why does it matter how they dress to go to college?

      • exconsumer says:

        I disagree, I think Americans have been getting smarter every generation, and the numbers seem to agree with me:
        http://blogs.berkeley.edu/2010/10/29/tests-say-americans-becoming-more-intelligent-over-the-generations-how-could-that-be/ (this article does not have a lot of numbers, but check the sources it cites)

        We’ve also been getting more productive as time goes on:
        http://crooksandliars.com/susie-madrak/american-productivity-record-levels-i

        I think we tend to view it the opposite because:

        1. Older generations control . . . everything, and the world will reflect their values, right or not, until their power transitions to the next generation.

        2. Generational differences. As time passes people act differently, differently enough to be misunderstood.

        3. We are, by definition, not very self aware as children, so when we think of our childhood, we graft a lot of our present selves onto that experience. So any comparison tends to be shifted in our favor; we compare our adult selves to our childlike counterparts and always look more capable and more responsible. Our own lack of self awareness as children leads to a lack of familiarity with what we were really like as children after we age.

        4. I think now, more than ever we are at a crossroads. Employers specifically and our society in general have been asking for critial thinkers, problem solvers, creatives, entrepreneurs. Well, I think we’re producing those kind of people better than ever; and those kind of people don’t take orders well. They buck trends, they challenge authority, they push for what they want. That’s threatening to older generations, so they minimize it and call it entitlement.

        My $0.02

      • Clyde Barrow says:

        “Stalin’ is a grunge band? Why hadn’t I heard of them?

    • Blueskylaw says:
    • Martha Gail says:

      I was the operations manager at my store and in charge of hiring. There were a handful of times when I looked at the applicant who showed up in shorts and flip-flops and told them to come back when they were dressed like they actually wanted a job. Most never did.

      One kid, however, came in a suit and tie. A day after the interview he came in with a thank you card. I’ll admit it was overkill, but I had never seen a 16 year-old so professional. He definitely got hired.

      • WB987 says:

        Did you later discover he had aspergers? Your “professional” is my “awkward.”

        • Thyme for an edit button says:

          It sounds a little awkward, but this is an inexperienced kid doing his best show he is serious about the job. I would look on this favorably even if it was overkill.

          • Martha Gail says:

            That’s how I viewed it. It was his first job and he was just trying to make a good impression. He was a good employee for over a year, which is a long time for a teenager.

        • MrEvil says:

          What’s the old addage? “Act like it’s the job you want, not the job you have.”

    • exconsumer says:

      When I compare my generation with my parents, and myself with the younger generations, I find that each one is less sensitive to those ‘things we just do because we just do’ type of things.

      In a way it’s reassuring: Most employers swear up and down that they are looking for critical thinkers, people who won’t just go through the motions, active problems solvers, etc. etc. While they sometimes fail, I think our education system and parenting styles are focused on creating that kind of person. But the consequence of that is that those people are harder to control. They don’t do things just to do them, or because they’ve been told, or for the sake of fitting in. It takes awhile before they choose to make the compromises strictly to meet other’s expectations.

    • Mrs. w/1 child says:

      Interesting…I felt the opposite way when I worked as a Property Manager. If the position was minimum wage or just above (for example a pool attendant), showing up in jeans (that fit and were not 15 sizes too big) and a (clean, pressed) buttoned shirt or polo was acceptable. I didn’t hold it against an applicant if they didn’t show up in a full on suit. I was more concerned with intelligence and ability to be trained to do the job well. A large component of functional intelligence is the ability to read social cues and dress to fit the occasion.

      Also, if you are making minimum wage, I don’t expect you to spend several hours wages on dry cleaning – not to mention purchasing a suit in the first place. My experience taught me that those who show up in expensive clothing, shoes, and jewelry for a low pay job were less intelligent in the traditional sense and more sociopathic and manipulative. They also made poor employees since they were “too good” for most aspects of a minimum wage job and their “image” was everything to them resulting in friction with other staff members and homeowners.

      Also, I didn’t expect formal resumes from minimum wage employees. They had to fill out an application and that showed me if they were literate. Something has gone awry with the hiring and screening process when every position no matter the pay or responsibilities requires a resume, suit, multiple interviews, and a college degree. These hoops to jump through and barriers to entry for a paid job don’t help you select, train, and promote the best candidates for a position.

      However, I do understand the value of carefully choosing your interview attire. I was reviewing candidates for an Assistant Engineer’s position (requires a resume and multiple interviews since there is a high level of responsibility and very decent pay). My Chief Engineer and I were very excited about candidate A. In our meet and greet first interview, candidate A showed up in a suit and said all the usual appropriate things…candidate B showed up in an Engineering uniform and told us he could start training THAT DAY and would be able to train for a few hours everyday after his regular shift at the position he would be leaving. Needless to say we were both very impressed and candidate B got the job. We didn’t have him train until after he left his previous position but he also negotiated his salary aggressively yet tactfully. All around he worked out wonderfully since he was smart enough to stand out in a socially acceptable way.

  5. gman863 says:

    The number of teens not looking for work at all has gone up steadily since 1994, says the LAT.

    I wonder if this should read “The number of kids not looking for crappy minimum wage jobs…”

    When I was a teen, I cut lawns on the weekends and during the Summer. Even factoring in the cost of gas and wearing out/purchasing a new mower every two years, I still figure I made over twice as much per hour versus Micky D’s or BK.

    Teens can make their own job at home while learning the ropes of the underground cash economy – no pesky W2 or 1099 forms required.

    • wackydan says:

      I’ve lived in this house for 8 years.

      I’ve yet to have a single kid knock on our door and offer to mow my lawn or rake my leaves. I’d gladly pay a kid to mow with my mower, and my gas…

      What drives this issue?

      - Parents are buying almost everything and anything their kids want these days.
      - Most homeowners do not want the liability if a teen gets hurt cutting their grass… Everyone is sue happy more so than ever.
      - Parents think you are a great neighbor and pillar to the community… but there is the .0001% chance you are a pedophile.

      • Stickdude says:

        You should come live in our neighborhood – we regularly get kids (and grown-ups) knocking on the door asking to mow the lawn if it gets a little bit too high.

        Fortunately, I have access to free child labor, so I politely decline.

      • Draw2much says:

        Maybe you don’t have enough kids of the right age in your neighborhood? It’s also possible you live in an area where it’s considered dangerous for kids to be out alone OR in a very well-off neighborhood where kids don’t need to earn any extra cash.

        Where I live, we have kids knocking on the doors during the spring and summer to mow lawns. I have a BUSINESS FLYER that two teenagers in the lawn mowing “business” left at our home! (They edge AND blow too! All for the low low price of $30…) And a few days ago I over heard a father at Lowe’s talking about buying a lawn mower for his son so he wouldn’t have to share a lawn mower with him. So as far as I can tell, people in my town are going out of their way to get their kids mowing…..

        My main problem is kids are asking too much for basic lawn maintenance. Our yard is just NOT big enough to fork over $30 for… the max I’d pay is $20, tops.

    • technoreaper says:

      Yeah, like everyone can just get a job mowing lawns, which only lasts, mind you, 4-5 months a year, tops.

      Great economy there! It’s just another service job, which means if there is no other money coming into an area, people will just do it themselves.

      • Mark702 says:

        Only a few months? Depends where you live. I did mowing/weed-pulling for $10-20 a yard in Las Vegas in the mid to late 90s. Made more money in less time doing that then my first minimum wage job in 2001 at 6.50/hr.

        • Mark702 says:

          Oh, and forgot to add, my point was that in Vegas or other warm climates, you can do it virtually year around. I also sold Gatorades and other drinks from a cooler at the sports parks, for $2 each after buying them at Costo for 30-40 cents each, also made more in 3 hours than I did at my first job workin 6 hours.

      • dks64 says:

        I’m jealous of you weirdos who live in places where it snows and where you only worry about your lawn a few months out of the year. I’m in Southern California, my grass is always growing.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      I hardly ever see kids doing it anymore. There is a kid across the street who cuts my neighbor’s lawn sometimes. But the rest of the time, it’s grown people with those annoyingly long trailers behind their pickup trucks.

      Generally I have to pay a guy $35 to do mine if I can’t do it. It’s worth the money if my shoulder is borked, and he and his two sons get it done in like 15 minutes. Including trimming. :)

  6. Shorebreak says:

    Better buy more Apple stock. They will be buying more iPhones and iPads with that cash.

  7. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    And my my fiance the teacher can get industry-related work. I love this country.

  8. technoreaper says:

    Total propaganda. Don’t believe a word.

    • Rexy on a rampage says:

      Total? No. Partially? Yes. As a teen, I’d need a stadium full of people to count all the jobs I’ve applied for myself. For interviews, I can count those on one hand. Job offers? A big, fat zero. Nontheless, some people are getting jobs, although very few.

  9. NCB says:

    All I can say is that the only jobs around here(rural eastern NC) for teens are babysitting etc. The fast food jobs are taken by full time adults and there are too many “landscaping” (anyone with a mower, edger, truck and trailer) companies manned by adults around here and the waiter jobs in the University town 25 miles from here are all University students-some that even stay during the summer to keep their job. And farm jobs are off limits for teens now due to OSHA regulations.

    • Mark702 says:

      Ya, the OSHA laws for kids workin on farms is total garbage. Kids are supposed to build skills, learn about a hard days work and such, this just gives em another reason to just say screw it and play on their phones and game consoles all day.

      • MrEvil says:

        Most farmers would rather use their own kids anyway. Child labor laws don’t apply when the children are working on a family farm. I didn’t have cows to milk, but there were temporary fences that needed building and fields that needed plowing.

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          Labor laws do in fact apply, they are just very different for children of farm owners.

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      You can’t get a farm job as a teen? When did this happen? My first job was on a farm bailing hay, shoveling pig and cow poop and working the quarter-acre sized garden near the house. Loved that job. I have found memories of that job.

  10. prosumer1 says:

    Teenagers are lazy fucks today. I’m shocked at how much their parent pay for them. In high school, my parents fed me and provided me with a room. I paid for pretty much the rest with two part time jobs.

    Entitlement my ass.

    • Kuri says:

      Same situation with me. My own money pays for what isn’t food or board.

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      I paid for all my stuff myself too. I babysat and raked in so much cash. My mom had a home daycare, so I had built in clientele. I was good at it too, so people paid me handsomely.

    • dks64 says:

      I was 16 when I started my first job in 2002. I paid for my gas, car payment, and many other necessities. I was never lazy, I worked my butt off. Many of my fellow students didn’t work and had things handed to them. Many of those students are now college graduates or going for their Masters/PhD’s. Damn them. I will go back to school, when I can afford it. I’m halfway done, just couldn’t afford to get my BA while I was under 24 and having to claim my parents income for scholarships.

      • Talmonis says:

        You have the exact same issue I had. I never got to go to college, but was working while everyone I know was living it up. Because it’s so bloody expensive, I will always be reporting to those kind of people. Hard work means nothing in this country, unless you couple it with a $40,000+ piece of paper.

  11. coffee100 says:

    Complete and utter horseshit.

  12. ShinGetterPoPo says:

    To that I’d like to say “Go ahead and stay home. I need the job to pay bills.”

  13. Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

    MBQ’s boss must be out this week—She’s shilling for the Regime again. Oh, and ignore the fact that the unemployment rate for black youths (16-24) is over 65%, and over 57% for Hispanic youths. The report is not as rosy as you think. The number of summer jobs gained will only be about 60% of what it was in 2006.

    http://www.challengergray.com/press/PressRelease.aspx?PressUid=223

  14. RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

    One of those newly created positions is now “Barnes and Noble Children’s Section Lone Male Bouncer,” I’m sure.

  15. LadyTL says:

    How many of those jobs are actually going to be filled by teens though? Given the trouble people in college have with jobs, I see more 18 to 25 year olds applying for these summer jobs for “teens” then I see teenagers. Mostly because we are having to have two or more part time jobs just to pay the basic bills, i.e rent, utilities, various important loan payments, food, etc.

  16. nerble says:

    I notice that the Consumerist fails to create a post on the recently posted unemployment numbers (higher) but somehow thinks that this clearly ridiculous twaddle is worthy of posting. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, eh?

  17. dks64 says:

    My first job was at 16 with In-N-Out burger (Pictured). It taught me to work my butt off and be responsible with money. Job experience is important to have. Without it, it’s hard to get a career, even with a degree.

    • Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

      B-b-b-b-but I have a masters in the Anthropology of Mesopotamian Literature! I want a six-figure management position and I want it NOW! Oh, and pay off my student loans while you’re at it.
      [mumbling to self] …bunch of greedy one-percenter a-holes. Hmmpf!

      • Talmonis says:

        Meanwhile, that Masters (regardless of major) degree means more to a corporate hiring manager than my entire (consistant and varied) work history combined. It sure as hell looks like it’s enforced by “1%er’s” to keep the working man from competing with his rich masters degree counterparts.