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Melissa M

"Why Aren't American Teenagers Working Anymore?" (article)

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What jobs can you do and earn $5000 in a summer? You'd have to make above minimum wage and be guaranteed 40+ hours a week to earn that much. Most jobs for teens earn minimum wage and are not full time. And around here, you have to be available 24/7 for a crappy minimum wage job with no assurance of hours. Schedules go out on Friday for the following week and no accommodating other commitments such as taking a class, dentist appointments, scholarship interviews, any extracurricular activities. You get scheduled, if you can't find a sub ... "Too bad. Show up or get fired." All for maybe $100 a week, if you are lucky. And, that is if you are over 18.

 

Dd is not lazy by any stretch of the imagination. She just earns money by babysitting because she has more control over her schedule and can have a life. She is an in-demand baby sitter. The things she is doing outside of babysitting will earn her much more in scholarship $$ than what she could earn at a "real job."

 

I'm still unclear on how the statistics are determined. Where are they getting their pool of teens for their sample?

Sorry, our local minimum is $10/hour, so 40 hours for 12 weeks is $5000. I worked 35 hours for 12 weeks in high school at $6 per hour and made $2500 and another $2500 working ten hours a week during school.

 

Babysitting is employment, as far as I'm concerned.

 

https://www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cpseea10.htm

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Sorry, our local minimum is $10/hour, so 40 hours for 12 weeks is $5000. I worked 35 hours for 12 weeks in high school at $6 per hour and made $2500 and another $2500 working ten hours a week during school.

 

Babysitting is employment, as far as I'm concerned.

 

https://www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cpseea10.htm

Here is was $8.50 an hour last summer with ten hours maximum for high schoolers even in the summer. School doesn't end until Thursday, and it starts again for this district before Labor Day. So 10 weeks not 12. $85.00 x 10 weeks is $850.00 minus at least some taxes. The car insurance for that job is $200.00 a month in this no fault state. Add $40.00 a week for gas because that ten hours per week will be spread across three days so one really has to factor in the cost of commuting, sooooooo not worth it. Net of maybe $400.00 or $4.00 per hour. It is practically worth it to us to PAY our kids to not get a job, LOL. Not worth the wear and tear on the car tires.

 

This region is not kind to teens. I think that some of the burbs of northern Detroit or maybe around the Grand Rapids area are probably better, and especially where public transportation exists at a very reasonable price. Kalamazoo's bus system is pretty robust so maybe that would be a good town for employment for the resident teenagers.

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Just a tip on the online application thing- someone in charge of hiring baristas once told me that the program will kick out any application that had any limitations on availability. As the hiring manager she will never even see an application if you have a once a week conflict. But- she hires people with limited availability.

 

My 17 yo was applying a few weeks ago. He has a Friday afternoon summer class he is taking. He did not put that limit on his applications. He got two callbacks and he discussed the class conflict in person at the interviews and neither employer batted an eye. One wonders if he would have even gotten to the interview stage if he had blocked out that two hours on the online applications.

 

Just a tip for those trying to get through the online application wall.

Edited by teachermom2834
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Technology and changes in our world.  Online shopping, self check outs, and all sorts of automation have decreased the number of jobs (overall - per capita).  Those who had jobs (retail, factory lines, etc) lose them, they shift to what is left.

 

 

 

Agreed.  I was at the mall and I just wondered what mall job could NOT be replaced by a robot?  Sales?  Security?  I could not think of a single worker who really needed to be human.  

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Even though the economy has mostly recovered?  

 

 

I would not call it mostly recovered where I live, not by a long shot. I'd say it is just starting to recover, with people being slightly less afraid of being laid off but not looking for raises anytime soon. 

 

And some workforce trends are unaffected by the rising economy, including the strong dislike of giving anyone in the service industries full-time work. 

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I've never heard of anyone getting a callback from an online application. I'm sure it must happen, but it makes the job search feel like a roulette wheel.

 

DS put out a bunch of online apps. Only one called him back but he did get a job out of it. 

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What has led to many employers not to need teens anymore? What has changed, so that there were plenty of jobs 10-20 years ago and not enough now? I guess the recession? The implication is that more adults are willing to do minimum-wage work, so teens are not needed. Are there just fewer jobs available now that are above that level? Even though the economy has mostly recovered? Maybe all the good jobs exported to other countries during the recession, or just became unprofitable and ended. I know construction has never recovered to pre-recession levels. (I like to try to understand economics, I'm not arguing any particular point.)

 

The secretary at the special ed preschool my youngest attended was married to a guy who had a decent-paying manufacturing job until about a decade ago but got laid off when the factory closed. He works (or did a few years ago) at the local Ace Hardware. That's the kind of job teens (usually the ones from the vo-tech school) used to hold back when I was in high school.

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There are lots of jobs here for teens, as we're in a tourist town. My kids started teaching swim lessons at 14, and guarding at 15. They started cleaning cabins up the road at 12. The older girls started clerking at the library at 14. They can't be ski lift ops or drive county equipment until 18, but they can run haying machinery for others at 16 (within some parameters). Dd had her own violin studio at 14. There are condo cleaning jobs up valley (with a free bus to get there). They can scoop ice cream, mow lawns, babysit, do fast food, be baggers, and baristas.

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What jobs can you do and earn $5000 in a summer? 

 

You work in the family business and get paid more than a nonrelative would be paid. Your position would never be offered to an outsider at more than min wage.  Or you live in a HCOL area and earn good tips to go with that.

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You work in the family business and get paid more than a nonrelative would be paid. Your position would never be offered to an outsider at more than min wage. Or you live in a HCOL area and earn good tips to go with that.

So, basically not your average teen job. I know lots of adult working full.time who don't make that (and we live in a relatively high COL area ... and the only people who would be hired at a place to make that much with tips would be people with lots of experience ... not teens.)

 

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Agreed.  I was at the mall and I just wondered what mall job could NOT be replaced by a robot?  Sales?  Security?  I could not think of a single worker who really needed to be human.  

 

Depends on the mall. My son's friends who work retail at the mall work hard.  They do a lot of helping customers with clothing...even the low end stores have the help go get different sizes for the customer in the changing room.  And they have to take what wasn't bought back to the displays, arranged presentably.  Add the loss prevention; theft is enormous. They aren't sitting around waiting for customers; those stores have closed.  Of course, these aren't jobs available to under 18s.

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So, basically not your average teen job. I know lots of adult working full.time who don't make that (and we live in a relatively high COL area ... and the only people who would be hired at a place to make that much with tips would be people with lots of experience ... not teens.)

 

Sent from my SM-G900T using Tapatalk

 

In this area, it is the average teen job, because they are the only teens with jobs. Oh, there are a handful working for the school district, but they are children of staff. They do get paid min wage to help summer school courses...but that's not full time and that's not all summer.

 

 A teen working in the family business as a waiter is experienced as they have been in the biz since birth and completed the OJT by first supplementing during slow times, then taking over the job as the older relatives go off to college.  An older teen isnt doing just the waiter job; they are probably doing recieving, inventory, and bookkeeping as well as translating and maintenance.

 

talking to the older folks, they all had farm jobs as teens.  picking crops, helping in the stables, etc.  that's all done by people brought in from other countries now..the jobs aren't advertised to locals, its all prearranged with contracters.

 

 

With the state pointing out the free college money now, it seems that the norm is becoming two years of CC.  My son's friends who wanted to go to work at 18, on high school grad, but don't have relatives with a business and wouldn't enlist, are finding nothing but convenience mart or mall. There are more high schoolers who want to be on work study for 11th and 12th than there are jobs...so they sit in multiple study halls. 21 is when full time jobs with benefits start.

Edited by Heigh Ho

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The secretary at the special ed preschool my youngest attended was married to a guy who had a decent-paying manufacturing job until about a decade ago but got laid off when the factory closed. He works (or did a few years ago) at the local Ace Hardware. That's the kind of job teens (usually the ones from the vo-tech school) used to hold back when I was in high school.

That is what happened here. My side of Michigan allowed itself to be entirely automotive and agriculture dependent. Bye bye factory jobs, so many of these individuals who were untrained for anything else took the jobs that used to be done by teens and college students.

 

The farmers have never paid more than minimum wage no matter how many years of experience the worker has. They can get immigrants to take your job if you ask for a penny more so workers keep their mouths shut. I know guys managing dairy herds for only $9.50 an hour, and thankfully for the extra dollar an hour. It is difficult work, and takes years of experience to do. $9.50 an hour. Sigh.....

 

The jobs that have moved into the area require at minimum an associate's and for most, bachelor's. Unskilled labor and low experience jobs are contracting here.

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There are lots of jobs here for teens, as we're in a tourist town. My kids started teaching swim lessons at 14, and guarding at 15

 

Wow, I don't know much about lifeguarding, but to my mind it seems way more dangerous than working in a retail store, where according to PPs you need to be 18 to work at.  

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Wow, I don't know much about lifeguarding, but to my mind it seems way more dangerous than working in a retail store, where according to PPs you need to be 18 to work at.  

 

The whole thing with the retail jobs and 18yo is bizarre.

 

My dd applied for a job at JoAnns, and they told her they couldn't hire under 18 because scissors (to cut fabric!!) were "industrial tools" or some such nonsense.

 

Previous to that she had been volunteering at a historical site, where she was cooking over an open fire in long skirts, cutting things with sharp knives, and dying wool in large kettles of boiling water, again over fire.  But *scissors*... 

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I started working in child daycare at age 16 as an assistant teacher (and got my CDA before I graduated high school), but that now requires that you be 18 with a high school diploma for an aide, and have 2 years of college for a lead or assistant teacher. The same is true with many summer camp positions. It used to be that you went to camp until about 9th grade, were a CIT for a year, and then became a counselor for a few summers. Now most camps want college students-and at least around here, get them. Teens needing community service hours do the unpaid jobs.

 

Actually, that's the other thing I'm seeing-a lot of part time jobs for non-profits that used to be minimum wage for teens now are done by high school students needing community service hours. Between what schools require, what scholarship programs require, and what seem to be unwritten college entry requirements, it can be hard even for a teen to get a volunteer job!

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Wow, I don't know much about lifeguarding, but to my mind it seems way more dangerous than working in a retail store, where according to PPs you need to be 18 to work at.  

 

This probably varies by state.  Plenty of kids at our school still work retail and they aren't 18.

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We have a neighbor girl, a great 16 year old, responsible, smart etc., who was so excited this summer to get her first real outside-the-house job. After many applications, she was finally hired by a well-known fast food chain. She told them, she'd be happy to work up to 30 hours a week during the summer, and would try to reschedule her other activities around work. In her first three weeks on the job, she's had 6 hours, 6 hours and 4 hours of work per week, with no prospect for any increases.

My son has had the exact same experience. It seems his employer has an abundance of employees and gives each kid a minimal amount of hours. On top of that, there are times he has gone to work and been sent home early because they aren't that busy.

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The whole thing with the retail jobs and 18yo is bizarre.

 

My dd applied for a job at JoAnns, and they told her they couldn't hire under 18 because scissors (to cut fabric!!) were "industrial tools" or some such nonsense.

 

Previous to that she had been volunteering at a historical site, where she was cooking over an open fire in long skirts, cutting things with sharp knives, and dying wool in large kettles of boiling water, again over fire. But *scissors*...

 

We recently had a local business man fined big time because one of his managers allowed a teen to use a trash compactor. The manager didn't realize you couldn't have teens use it and the owner wasn't on site. It safer for businesses to stay away from hiring teens in a land that will fine you or sue you for every potential risk involving someone under age. I don't blame businesses but it sure makes it rough on teens.

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We recently had a local business man fined big time because one of his managers allowed a teen to use a trash compactor. The manager didn't realize you couldn't have teens use it and the owner wasn't on site. It safer for businesses to stay away from hiring teens in a land that will fine you or sue you for every potential risk involving someone under age. I don't blame businesses but it sure makes it rough on teens.

But we allow them to drive around by themselves in giant hurtling metal boxes. Because driving a car is so much safer and involves so much less judgment than squishing trash or cutting with scissors.

Edited by Matryoshka
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This has been fascinating for me. Nearly all of my kids friends have have worked. Fast food jobs are still the easiest job entry point with McDonalds & Taco Bell leading the way. There are a lot of 18+ jobs, but there are still plenty of jobs for younger teens too. My own kids are vastly different and have vastly different experience with work too. 

 

Ds has never held a job, although he is volunteering as a page at the library this summer. Pages are never paid in our library system and there are few openings for volunteers relative to the number of kids trying to get them, so he was just excited to get the volunteer position. He has multiple LD's which require him to take a lighter load of classes each semester. He uses summer school to keep pace, and schooled year-round when he was younger to stay on track. This summer he took a CLEP, is currently taking a summer school class and will try for one more CLEP at the end of the summer for 9 college credits instead of working for minimum wage which is just $7.70. These extra credits will allow him to complete his degree with a double major and a minor in 4 years while his scholarship holds out. An extra semester with no scholarships would eat all the earnings from summer jobs he could have had. He is planning to try to get an internship next summer for some career related work experience for a resume. 

 

Dd has worked since she was 15. At 15 she was a part time nanny for a family with 7 kids. At 16 she did some online applications and was offered a job waitressing at Pizza Hut, but instead accepted a job in a local pharmacy. This was definitely a case of "who you know" as they don't usually hire teens, but she does indeed know the pharmacy director for this local pharmacy chain. This summer, she chose to work as a lifeguard in a water park instead (the pharmacy loved her and offered to take her back), because it paid more per hour and she is working 50+ hours/week, so she can actually gross that $5,000 for the summer in spite of our low minimum wage here. She was also a competitive gymnast and her old coach has offered her a coaching position, but that just didn't give enough hours to make as much money as she wanted to over the summer so she turned that one down too. 

 

So, I have one who has never seriously looked for a job and one who has never been without a job since she was 15 and has more offers than she knows what to do with. I think the market is tougher and networking is becoming more important, but in this area, teen jobs are still easy enough to come by for those who really want them. 

Edited by Momto2Ns
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Wow, I don't know much about lifeguarding, but to my mind it seems way more dangerous than working in a retail store, where according to PPs you need to be 18 to work at.  

 

 

The front page of our local paper tomorrow is a story about how the rec center can't find lifeguards! I don't want my kids to work there because the pools are built wrong and there are dead spots where the guards can't see. We told them this when they were designing the pools, but were ignored. You could lose a kid behind the frog slide and not see him for hours. And if you walk behind the slide, you can't see 50% of the big pool! And there's no way to see the stairs for the slides. I don't want the liability of my kids working there. 

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The front page of our local paper tomorrow is a story about how the rec center can't find lifeguards! I don't want my kids to work there because the pools are built wrong and there are dead spots where the guards can't see. We told them this when they were designing the pools, but were ignored. You could lose a kid behind the frog slide and not see him for hours. And if you walk behind the slide, you can't see 50% of the big pool! And there's no way to see the stairs for the slides. I don't want the liability of my kids working there.

Or the trauma of having a swimmer drown during their watch. It stays with them for life.

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My son stopped guarding because the customers were so nasty and the place wasn't rotating the guards throughout the shift.  Standing in place for three hours while getting screamed at because someone thinks their family doesn't need to follow the rules is not worth the pennies one makes after paying for certification and gas. He only lasted as long as he did because he wanted job experience and management always backed him up.

Edited by Heigh Ho
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The front page of our local paper tomorrow is a story about how the rec center can't find lifeguards! I don't want my kids to work there because the pools are built wrong and there are dead spots where the guards can't see. We told them this when they were designing the pools, but were ignored. You could lose a kid behind the frog slide and not see him for hours. And if you walk behind the slide, you can't see 50% of the big pool! And there's no way to see the stairs for the slides. I don't want the liability of my kids working there. 

 

They are only blind spots if the management is not staff the pool to cover all the angles--which most pools will avoid doing. They will say "during x hours we only have a few people in the pool so we only need one lifeguard." No accounting for what the one lifeguard can see. 

 

One of the rec centers near me started putting  3 lifeguards out during hours when there was high glare on the pool, regardless of how many patrons swimming. County management said that was a waste, but the operations manager push back and said she would close the pool during those hours rather than have sections a lifeguard couldn't see due to glare. 

 

I wouldn't have my kid work at a pool with blind spots either, unless they added staff and positioned staff to get rid of the blind spots. Just not worth the risk. 

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I am not a fan of my kids lifeguarding. Here, the reason is some extremely controlling aquatic managers and ridiculous expectations on availability. Hourly wage earners need to be scheduled. You can't treat them like salaried employees. It is no wonder that these pools are chronically short of lifeguards and they leave as soon as they line up other jobs.

Ds2 worked at an okay pool last summer, but a new manager has turned it into "I know your parents" hires and not actual qualifications. Ds2 saw that he would be doing all the work with no ability to manage. So only coaching this summer.

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I am not a fan of my kids lifeguarding. Here, the reason is some extremely controlling aquatic managers and ridiculous expectations on availability. Hourly wage earners need to be scheduled. You can't treat them like salaried employees. It is no wonder that these pools are chronically short of lifeguards and they leave as soon as they line up other jobs.

Ds2 worked at an okay pool last summer, but a new manager has turned it into "I know your parents" hires and not actual qualifications. Ds2 saw that he would be doing all the work with no ability to manage. So only coaching this summer.

I don't think bad management atmosphere is limited to pools. There definitely poorly managed retail and fast food.

 

If your dc can find a place with a good manager who looks for ways to provide consistent work schedules and opportunities to move up, that's awesome and unfortunately not the usual experience.

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I wouldn't want my ds working at a pool with blind spots either. My ds has been working as a lifeguard at the YMCA for a couple of years, and they take safety/lifeguarding very seriously. He actually had to rescue someone this week for the first time. He's had drills, and "tests" where he thought someone was drowning, but this was the first real rescue of someone in distress. He was shaken up even though the person was fine. I can't imagine how he would have felt if someone were out of sight and drowned. They do training/practice once a month, and they're paid for that time.

 

Having read what others have written here, I will warn ds to be cautious about lifeguarding jobs at other pools. It's funny because I was initially frustrated by how difficult they made it for him to get the job. Even though he has been on swim team and been to the Y daily for many years, he couldn't use anyone there as a reference, but had to have three outside references. At the time I thought it was overkill, but I can see the value now.

 

 

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Nice news story on my local papers yesterday.

 

"Robyn Bri is 18-years-old, lives in Marin County, and recently graduated from Tamalpais High School. She also has over amassed over $85,000 in savings.

...

The 18-year-old, who graduated from high school last week, has been working a series of part-time and minimum-wage jobs since the third grade. That's the same year her parents bought a house and she became "really intrigued by money."

 

Beginning as a cat- and dog-sitter, Bri then graduated to babysitting and waitressing. Now, she manages Mama's Royal Cafe on the weekends, nannies after school and on weekends, and house sits sporadically. In total, Bri estimates she works 28 to 32 hours in a week and earns about $3,000 to $4,000 a month. Oh, she also graduated with a 3.9 cumulative GPA and volunteers weekly at a retirement community.

 

"I probably sleep five to six hours a night," she says, citing her inability to "say no" as a problem she needs "to work on."

...

What's next for Bri? College, naturally. In the fall, she's heading to George Washington University on a full scholarship, where she plans to study business and construction management." http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/18-year-old-girl-from-Marin-has-saved-nearly-11220896.php

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One son did lifeguarding last year.  Our pools are chronically short of guards.  His schedule last year varied between being at the pool by 445 in order to open for lap swim at 5am to staying at a pool until after closing at 7pm.  (Not saying he worked from morning until night, but that the schedule varied wildly.)  

 

The population at the pools last year included families with very small children, active duty US military, retirees, and a large foreign navy contingent in town for a month for a major multinational exercise.  DS had multiple saves over the summer.  None that required medical treatment, fortunately, but several that required him to go into the pool to assist someone who could not swim.  In many cases these saves were on people who had limited if any English.  

 

This summer a combination of general staffing problems and a long federal hiring freeze left the pools so shorthanded that they drastically restricted hours at several pools.  They ended up doing an open hiring day at which they did a swim proficiency test on 70 would be applicants.  They were willing to take non-certified applicants who passed the swim test and then give them the life guard training after hiring them.  Out of 70, they had 16 who passed the test.  They were still looking for another 10 guards a few weeks later.  Pool hours are still curtailed compared to what they were a couple years ago.

 

My other son is working for a newly opening ice cream shop.  He's been working for almost a month and has been frustrated with the scheduling.  Often he'll get a text at 9pm asking him to work the next day.  He's gone in to work, only to be sent back home after an hour or two because a contractor didn't show up.  I'm really hoping that once the shop opens, the work hours will be more consistent.

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They are only blind spots if the management is not staff the pool to cover all the angles--which most pools will avoid doing. They will say "during x hours we only have a few people in the pool so we only need one lifeguard." No accounting for what the one lifeguard can see. 

 

One of the rec centers near me started putting  3 lifeguards out during hours when there was high glare on the pool, regardless of how many patrons swimming. County management said that was a waste, but the operations manager push back and said she would close the pool during those hours rather than have sections a lifeguard couldn't see due to glare. 

 

I wouldn't have my kid work at a pool with blind spots either, unless they added staff and positioned staff to get rid of the blind spots. Just not worth the risk. 

 

 

Yes, they don't have enough guards. 

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Our college pool is pretty good to work for. However, if dd wasn't also coaching, she couldn't get enough hours. My other kids didn't want the crazy schedule, so all worked/work at the county. I had a friend become angry with me because his boys couldn't get a county job. Well, his boys didn't have any skills. My kids showed up the first day, already having taken the flagger's test (requiring 3 hours of driving), along with experience with tractors, trailers, mowers, etc. They're valuable to the county because they can load the double deck mowing tractor on a trailer, chain it down, haul it over narrow wind-y roads, unload, mow, and reverse the process. And they'll head to the county shop at 0300 to do it!

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Our college pool is pretty good to work for. However, if dd wasn't also coaching, she couldn't get enough hours. My other kids didn't want the crazy schedule, so all worked/work at the county. I had a friend become angry with me because his boys couldn't get a county job. Well, his boys didn't have any skills. My kids showed up the first day, already having taken the flagger's test (requiring 3 hours of driving), along with experience with tractors, trailers, mowers, etc. They're valuable to the county because they can load the double deck mowing tractor on a trailer, chain it down, haul it over narrow wind-y roads, unload, mow, and reverse the process. And they'll head to the county shop at 0300 to do it!

Yes. One needs to be willing to aquire skills to become a good candidate for employment. Even if it's just getting the first aid and CPR for a camp counselor job. If you have that when you put in the application, it shows you made more effort than people be who didn't. Some people don't get this. I don't know why an adult wouldn't understand, but sometimes parents are the worst roadblocks to a child's ability to get a job or go through the pre employment steps.

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We could come up with enough stuff (volunteer work, honors, etc.) to fill a resume IF employers would consider hiring a minor.

 

 

I agree.  My kids' resumes had, besides their basic educational information, all volunteer work, all paid work no matter how small - dogsitter, babysitter, 2 weeks of grunt work for a friend one summer -  extra "special interest" sort of classes, such as summer programs in blacksmithing that my son took.  Oh, organizational affiliations too (Scouts, etc)

 

Employers don't expect teens to have impressive resumes.  

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I do not have teens working for money right now, BUT, I can comment on the volunteer situation.

 

Everywhere I turn, I have seen adults shame teens in to volunteering. When I was a teen, and younger, I did tons of volunteer work because it was neat to do. I loved volunteering at the hospital and wanted to be a nurse some day. I loved working with kids. I did other volunteer work. I took on everything presented to me it seemed often. I was very involved. I was given pins (awards) for reaching 1000 and 2000 hours of volunteer work.  I remember seeing the volunteers and talking with them when I was young and being told "this is fun", "this is really neat", "you get to...." from the volunteers about what they were doing.

 

Now day, i have heard everywhere, even on our town board (our town has a FB board) "parents, here is a volunteer opportunity for your kids, so they can give back." At one particular church, we were constantly bombarded with, during services by the pastors "everyone in this town has so much, we need to give back, so donate....." And in the youth group, they would drive them an hour away to find people who "have less than you so you need to give back because you have so much." 

 

If I faced that kind of shaming and guilt around every corner, I never would have done any volunteer work.

 

This may very well trace to the work situation. Constantly negative reinforcement. No one wants to do anything because they are shamed in to it. I am betting this translates in to working too. At least a part of it.

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We require our teens to work for one full year (part time) at some type of fast food establishment.  None have had any difficulty being hired when they turn 16, but they found the work ethic and general attitudes of the other teens who they work with pretty appalling.  Maybe businesses don't want to hire younger teens anymore because they also have found them unreliable and lazy?  

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Nice news story on my local papers yesterday.

 

"Robyn Bri is 18-years-old, lives in Marin County, ...

In total, Bri estimates she works 28 to 32 hours in a week and earns about $3,000 to $4,000 a month. ..

 

While I applaud this young lady's work ethic, I would suggest that, if my math is correct, this works out to an hourly rate of $30 to $40 an hour, which may be possible for a hard-working teen nanny in Marin County, CA, but perhaps not in most places in this country.  This reminds me how very unevenly distributed our economic recovery is.

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I've found that it requires a fair amount of searching to find job opportunities for youth under 18 years. They are out there, but may not readily visible, and they are often discovered through networking among people you know.  They also require some asking around for what opportunities might be available. Not all youth have to time, confidence or experience to know who and how to ask for job opportunities. Parental support, or assistance from guidance counselors or teachers can really help.

 

Other teen working positions require specific training, and this training can be expensive.

- To be a swim instructor or life-guard, specific life-saving courses and instructing courses are required. These cost hundreds of dollars and years of swimming 

- To be a summer camp counselor in our area, teens have to take at least on Leadership Training course, which costs around $300. 

- To be a sport specific coach assistant or official, teens have to have years of experience playing the sport, and possibly take a coaching course as well as a first-aid course.

- To be a music teacher, teens have to have years of experience playing an instrument, probably completed some exams and other qualifications that are all costly.

 

Many of the more obvious jobs for teen-agers, such as fast-food, grocery stores and retail, are focusing on older teens 18+. It seems to be getting harder to find the locations that are hiring teens. 

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While I applaud this young lady's work ethic, I would suggest that, if my math is correct, this works out to an hourly rate of $30 to $40 an hour, which may be possible for a hard-working teen nanny in Marin County, CA, but perhaps not in most places in this country. This reminds me how very unevenly distributed our economic recovery is.

She worked as a part time waitress too and in some places tips from customers are generous. An ad-hoc teen nanny in my area (much less affluent) can charge $16/hr ten years ago, a regular homework tutor would get at least $25/hr, an on-demand tutor would cost more.

 

This article today also shows the economic disparity Is the summer job disappearing?​

 

"The picture varies, of course, across demographic and racial lines. In poor urban neighborhoods, teens who want work struggle to find it. The summer jobs they used to get — scarce in the best of times — now often go to adults.

 

In wealthier areas, teens are more likely to be attending summer school, doing volunteer work, traveling with their families or pursuing sports or other extracurriculars.

 

In Loudoun County, Virginia, an affluent suburb of Washington, many businesses say they struggle to find teens willing and able to work summers.

 

"They're busy," says Tyler Wegmeyer, who raises fruits and vegetables and runs a pick-your-own farm in the Loudoun town of Hamilton. "They've got activities. They've got camps. Their families go on vacation. It's very rare I can get a kid to work all summer long."" http://www.wcvb.com/article/kids-today-they-don-t-work-summer-jobs-the-way-they-used-to/10211624

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My 25 yr old niece is a full time nanny to a family that lives in a very affluent area of Houston (one parent is a medical specialist, the other a lawyer). She makes $14/hour with no benefits. She has been a nanny since she graduated from high school, babysat before that. She is taking online classes and wants to work with children.

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 She told them, she'd be happy to work up to 30 hours a week during the summer, and would try to reschedule her other activities around work.  In her first three weeks on the job, she's had 6 hours, 6 hours and 4 hours of work per week, with no prospect for any increases.

 

Yes, and this can also go the other way.  Last summer, when DD was hired for a part-time job and told them that she could work 20-30 hours per week, they routinely scheduled her for 40 hours each week.  She had adult co-workers begging for more hours and DD was routinely scheduled for more than she wanted. I'll never understand that manager.

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She had adult co-workers begging for more hours and DD was routinely scheduled for more than she wanted. I'll never understand that manager.

Are the adult co-workers drawing a higher hourly wage? When I worked in a big supermarket chain after high school and before college as seasonal temps, the other similar age temps and me were the lowest hourly wage workers so we had first dips on all the overtime slots we wanted. The adult co-workers hourly wage was double ours (high school graduates) due to 7 to 10 years of experience. Overtime pay was 1.5 times hourly wage and after 9pm was 2 times the hourly wage.

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Ds never had a typical teen job. He graduated at 16 and could find nothing the summer after his senior year of high school. Almost everything was 18+. He did have one interview that went well, and the job would have been a great fit (retail outdoorsy/camping/hiking place), and I think they were ready to hire him. However, when they asked how many hours he could work during the school year the answer was, "Zero," because he was going out of state for college. While the job was advertised as a "summer job," they really wanted someone year-round. Being in a college town, there really are no summer jobs. Their expectation was full time in the summer and part time during the school year.

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Are the adult co-workers drawing a higher hourly wage?

I don't know for sure but this is likely as DD's job was also at a grocery store.  They saw HUGE turnover as folks got fed up and quit and were routinely understaffed. DD herself had to quit once it became clear that they would continue to over-schedule her when she returned to school.

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However, when they asked how many hours he could work during the school year the answer was, "Zero," because he was going out of state for college. While the job was advertised as a "summer job," they really wanted someone year-round. Being in a college town, there really are no summer jobs. Their expectation was full time in the summer and part time during the school year.

Sounds like you raised an honest young man!  I've had the hardest time trying to coach DD that it is ok to give vague non-answers to questions like these.  Yes, it is dishonest to lead them to believe that you will still be able to work when you know you won't but the employers won't hesitate to lead you to believe that you will have a year-round job and then let you go when it suits them.

 

DD actually told one hiring manager this spring that she was looking for something better (a research internship) and if she found one, she wouldn't be available to work for her this summer.  Honest, yes, but a bit too much information shared! 

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Some local school districts are helping their high school students land paid summer internships.

 

"The future workforce of Santa Clara Valley flocked to San Jose City Hall’s rotunda for internship opportunities on June 13.

 

An estimated 200 students sat across from more than 100 representatives from local businesses to interview for paid internships this summer.

 

This is the second year the Silicon Valley Organization has held the Strive Summer Internship Program. The organization partnered with San Jose Works and work2future Foundation and Campbell Union High School District, East Side Union High School District, Metropolitan Education District and the San Jose Unified School District.

...

“This is a great opportunity to give these kids their first job opportunity, a professional job opportunity and to expose them to the workplace,†Mahood said. “It’s their first step in a career, and we’re excited to be a part of it.â€

 

A week before sitting across from prospective employers, students were prepped by LinkedIn professionals during mock interviews and resume workshops. They were also given tips on proper interview attire.

...

Students will complete 100 to 120 hours of paid work during the summer." http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/06/23/high-schoolers-net-summer-jobs-from-internship-program/

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Another factor might be the application process. When DS was job hunting last summer, MOST places required an online application plus some required a resume submitted with the application - for fast food places like Taco Time. He felt terrible, because what 16 year old has enough to fill a resume?

Hobbes just turned 17. He chose to work in a charity shop every Saturday afternoon for the last nine months. That has given him plenty of relevant experience for a one-page CV.

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Dd16 just got the job at the day care center!  They're going to just have her on-call this summer, but she'll be working 2 days a week come fall when the college kids go back.

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We have a neighbor girl, a great 16 year old, responsible, smart etc., who was so excited this summer to get her first real outside-the-house job.  After many applications, she was finally hired by a well-known fast food chain.  She told them, she'd be happy to work up to 30 hours a week during the summer, and would try to reschedule her other activities around work.  In her first three weeks on the job, she's had 6 hours, 6 hours and 4 hours of work per week, with no prospect for any increases.

 

Similar situation for my DS.  He's been employed at a local grocery store for the past 2 years.  The place is really flexible--tell us when you can work, when you need time off, etc.  College kids don't lose their jobs when they go off to school and are put back on the schedule during breaks and summers.  Problem is--lots of college kids coming home wanting hours.  Last summer, DS was lucky to get 1 or 2 shifts per week, and usually only 4-6 hours per shift.  This summer, he has only been scheduled for a Sunday afternoon/evening shift from 3-7 or 4-8.  Four hours a week--that's it.  What he'll earn there probably won't even cover his books in the fall.

 

DS says he hears other kids at work complaining that they can't get many hours.  DS feels lucky that he is at least getting Sunday hours paid at time and a half.  Sigh.

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Agreed.  I was at the mall and I just wondered what mall job could NOT be replaced by a robot?  Sales?  Security?  I could not think of a single worker who really needed to be human.  

 

DS had a lengthy conversation with me the other day.  He believes it of utmost importance to focus on the impact that technological advances are having on employment and the economy.  Will we have to create a different type of economy?  When lower level tasks/jobs are taken over by computers or robots, what sort of jobs will there be for those seeking entry-level employment?  Will it mean a shift towards more creative-type jobs?  How will it impact a college student's ability to afford college when some kids are lucky to earn $500 over the summer (when many schools are expecting kids to earn closer to $2,000+)?  He had really given this a lot of thought, given his own predicament with only getting 4 hours a week so far this summer.  Too many kids.  Not enough jobs for them.

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