Summer Jobs: Working Teens Hits 13-Year High, As Young People Fill Jobs


Stealing a line from the Nirvana classic, it smells like teen spirit!

With the nation getting ready for a robust return to summer, there are still too many job openings, and not enough workers.

But coming through to save the day? Teenagers! For real.

"Kind of crazy right? But teens are going to save America" said David Cathey, Partner with Unity Search staffing and recruiting.

Teens are stepping up, so much so that the number of working teenagers has hit a 13-year high. Why?

"Older workers, adult workers are not as apt to go back to the office, and back to work" Cathey told KTRH, "The teens have been locked up for a year, and they want to get out and make a little cash. And if they don't want to get out? Their parents want them out."

In the month of May, the share of 16-19 year old workers went up 33%, as desperate employers are coming up with creative, and flexible ways to get them to work. Loose scheduling, competitive wages, and even bonuses. And apparently, it's catching on. "It's almost as if getting a job this summer is becoming viral" Cathey said.

One other important thing needs to be said. As Cathey points out, this shift goes back to an old-school way of thinking and mentality. "Gen X parents like myself have said "hey, I worked when I was a teen in the summer and I want you to have a better life and not have to work" and while that sounds good on paper, Cathey says, "If I was a parent of a teen, I would be encouraging them to get out and get a job because it instills so much in you, and employers are going to be looking for that."

American teenagers are saving the summer.

Girl working in bakery looking away smiling

Photo: Cultura RF