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Charlottesville, VA Business News

Weakest Summer Job Market for Teens in Decades

Posted by lbanner on May 27, 2008

The New York Times reports:

This deterioration is jeopardizing what many experts consider a crucial beginning stage of working life, one that gives young people experience and confidence along with pocket money.

Little more than one-third of the 16- to 19-year-olds in the United States are likely to be employed this summer, the smallest share since the government began tracking teenage work in 1948, according to a research paper published by the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston. That is a sharp drop from the 45 percent level of teenage employment reached in 2000.

The rates among minority young people have been particularly low, with only 21 percent of African-Americans and 31 percent of Hispanics from the ages of 16 to 19 employed last summer, according to the Labor Department.

Retailers, a major source of summer jobs, are grappling with a loss of American spending power, causing some to pull back in hiring. Restaurants, also big employers of teenagers, are adding jobs at a slower pace than in previous summers, said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president for research at the National Restaurant Association in Washington.

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