By Dianna Miller, Courier & Press, July 4, 2017 –
Should your teen have a part-time job? There are pros and cons, but there are many benefits to getting some early work experience during the high school years.
On average, teenagers report the highest rates of unemployment. According to Labor Force Statistics, in early 2017 the youth unemployment rate for individuals ages 16 to 19 was around 14.7 percent. The unemployment rate for individuals 25 years and older was 3.6 percent. Indiana has a 10 percent unemployment rate for ages 16-24.
Interestingly, according to a recent study from Career Builder, from 2001-2014, the number of jobs held by teenagers decreased by 33 percent. Over 1.7 million jobs teens held were cut during that 13-year window.
The loss of teen jobs appears to be correlated partly to the fact that a growing number of people ages 55 and older are not exiting the labor market at the pace they used to. More individuals are retiring from their current job and transitioning to entry-level positions.
In this study from 2001-2014, the number of workers 55 years and older increased by 40 percent. These days, the workforce tends to favor experience over education. Even though college is very valuable, it becomes even more valuable when paired with a resume full of experience.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, for every year a person works in their teens, their income raises 14-16 percent in their 20s. When teens choose to have a job, employment teaches responsibility and good work habits, improves time management and organizational skills and helps them save money.
Working also gives teens an opportunity to establish contacts with adult employers that can serve as a future reference. As teens work a part-time job they learn how capable they are, which in turn builds confidence and self-reliance. This can help teens feel more independent and have the confidence to further their development with a sense of responsibility.
Some research indicates youth who are Hispanic, black or economically disadvantaged who balance school and a job are less likely to drop out of high school than those who do not work during their high school years.
Having a summer job is linked to an increase in the chances of youth graduating from high school and reducing the risk for involvement in criminal activity and the juvenile justice system.
In order to effectively balance the stress of academics and work, studies indicate that 20 or less hour per week is an optimal amount of time for a high school student to work. Some studies indicate that students who balance 10-15 hours of work per week during the school year earn higher grades than students who do not work.
The federal minimum wage has been raised 22 times since 1938 when it was set at 25 cents per hour. Currently, our minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.
If your teen is looking for a job, snagajob.com and groovejob.com could be great starting points for them. The most popular time of year for teens to look for jobs is from April to July. Point out the many benefits and encourage them to take advantage of the opportunity to gain experience, learn to balance their time, and make a little extra money.