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Here's the Surprising Thing More Teens Are Doing This Summer
The summer job is considered a rite of passage for the American Teenager. It is a time when tossing newspaper bundles and bussing restaurant tables acts as a rehearsal for weightier adult responsibilities, like bundling investments and bussing dinner-party plates. But in the last few decades, the summer job has been disappearing. In the summer of , 60 percent of teens were working or looking for work. Last summer, just 35 percent were. Why did American teens stop trying to get summer jobs?
Teenagers Have Stopped Getting Summer Jobs—Why?
The Indicator NPR hide caption. I started babysitting when I was about 10 years old. I took it very seriously. I had, like, a whole network of people.
Although the stereotype of the teen lifeguarding or scooping ice cream prevails in the popular imagination, the reality is that fewer young people have been working summer jobs for quite a while. The reasons are myriad: Increased competition in college admissions has prompted a growing number of parents to nudge their kids toward extra academic classes or recreational activities that can bolster their applications. Kids who can afford it today might opt to travel or take an unpaid internship during the summer instead of bussing tables or ringing up shoppers. Read next: Still Need a Summer Job? Initially, it looked like this year was shaping up to be more of the same, with a slow start to teens landing seasonal employment leading experts to predict a continued falloff in teenagers getting jobs this summer.