From age thirteen until I retired, I had a job or career. I was never without a job for more than a couple of months at most. I lived by my parent's advice that you don't quit a job unless you have another one lined up. So I didn't. I was working at part time jobs through high school and well into college. It wasn't a problem at all to find work. For that same age group now, it is. It's almost impossible.
It used to be that most high school students lined up summer jobs and that was just an accepted aspect of one's summer. You worked part or full time and then went to the beach or parties. That pretty much summed up the summer for 16-19 year olds. Now, many kids of those ages are seeking jobs on a constant basis or have stayed home and are watching the Olympics in resigned defeat. Not that many teens have been lucky enough to land a job.
CBS News weighs in with these facts, "Only 3 in 10 high school graduates from the classes of 2006 through 2011 have found full-time employment, according to a new Rutgers University report. The numbers are particularly dire for students who graduated after the financial crisis erupted in 2008, with only 16 percent who graduated during the recession employed full-time. By comparison, roughly half of college graduates over the past five years do not have full time jobs."
With the added burden of the recession we've been through (and some of us think that we are still in) jobs that DO become open and available, even entry-level or minimum wage jobs are going to people with families or to college graduates needing work. That definitely leaves the high school student scraping the bottom of the barrel.(when there's even a barrel there!)
It's interesting that all kinds of job incentives and ways to spark the economy are being considered by politicians of all ilk. But I haven't seen anyone address the need to help our teens find work. And why should we? Well, because they need to develop a work ethic, they need to understand responsibility, they need to learn how to earn their own money and even save for college. They also need to learn how to be independent. If we can't help them take this next step we will end up with 30 year olds still living at home. Oh wait, I think we're there already! Is it too late to turn this around?