For the third year in a row, American teenagers hoping to land summer jobs will face the worst teen hiring slump since World War II.
The unemployment rate for 16- to
19-year-olds is 24.9 percent nationally, and in some major
cities the rate is much higher. In Washington, DC, the teen unemployment rate is 51.7 percent.
Many are concerned that millions of younger Americans will be denied the all-important work experience that comes from holding a summertime job:
"What I would ask people to think about is: Who
gave you your first work experience? Almost every one of us had a break
to get their first job, and that work experience is essential to get
your second and third job," said Larry Frank, Los Angeles deputy mayor
of neighborhood and community services.
The summertime teenager hiring slump also holds implications for keeping kids out of trouble:
"If you're a lower-income person, the income
might be pretty valuable. If it does keep you out of trouble, that's
valuable because once young people are incarcerated, they are scarred
for life," said Harry Holzer, a professor at Georgetown University's
Public Policy Institute.
Currently, a record 87,897,000 Americans are no longer in the U.S. labor force.