Teens Struggle To Find Summer Jobs
Memorial Day weekend means summer is now here, but for many teenagers the summer jobs are nowhere to be found.
Many young people across the United States still have no place to work in what analysts say is the worst teen job market since World War Two. The tradition of trading in textbooks and graduation caps for work gloves and pool whistles has proven increasingly more difficult to do.
New numbers from the Employment Policy Institute show that Alabama’s teen unemployment rate is at 17.1%, a staggering statistic that is actually one of the lowest rates for all fifty states. The EPI report found that roughly one in four U.S. teens are presently jobless.
Lower-wage positions traditionally held by teenagers have been among the hardest hit job sectors, with many cash-strapped employers choosing to reduce staff rather than raise prices on customers. 16 year-old Lee High School junior Jovani Occany considers herself one of the lucky ones after scoring a summer gig at Southern Adventures Amusement Park in Huntsville.
“I came here and they actually called me back, and I was so excited,” said Occany. “Some of my friends don’t even have jobs right now because no one will hire them…One friend had like 30 applications, nobody has called her back yet. I am really, really lucky.”
According to the EPI, California, South Carolina and Rhode Island all currently have teenage unemployment rates of 30% or greater. A whopping 51% of teens are presently jobless in Washington D.C.
Alabama’s teen unemployment rate is currently one of the ten lowest in the country, with a ranking of 41st. The rate is nine points lower than the April 2011 teen jobless tally of 26%, but still almost ten percent higher than the most recent overall Alabama unemployment rate.