Teen Summer Job Outlook

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - With the end of school fast approaching, many teenagers are looking for summer jobs.

According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., teens should have an easier time with their search this year.

During the recession and in the post-recession period, a large number of young people found themselves competing with older, more experienced workers for even entry-level, seasonal jobs.

A report from the Chicago-based global outplacement firm finds, "an improving economy and falling unemployment should significantly improve the job prospects for the nation's teens this summer."

While the teen summer job outlook is better than it has been for several years, fewer teens are expected to enter the seasonal work force.

Andrew Challenger says, "we've seen, since the mid-70's, a continuous downward trend in the participating rate of teenagers in the workforce. Less teenagers, year after year, want to find positions and are actively looking for them."

However, Challenger believes it's unfair to say today's teens are lazier than generations past. Instead, he says they are simply much busier.

"Today, teenagers are expected to do three hours of homework a night, participate in extracurricular activities, be on a sports team, do plays. So, when summer rolls around they need the break," he says.

Although all these activities may look good on a college applications, it turns out they may not be as beneficial in the long run as a good old-fashioned summer job.

Challenger points to studies that have found early work experience often correlates to a higher career-earning power.

"So, in some ways, kids who do not have those traditional summer jobs are missing out on something," he concludes.