Hot Job Market for Teens as Companies Struggle to Find Workers

With the end of the school year fast approaching, many teenagers across the country are considering summer employment. While just 35% of teens aged 16-19 participated in the labor market last year, global outplacement and business and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. predicts job opportunities could increase around 5% this year and the teen participation rate could rise as well, according its annual outlook released Tuesday.

Last summer saw 1,388,000 jobs gained by teens, 7.8% higher than the 1,288,000 jobs gained by teenagers in the summer of 2017. This was the highest number of teen jobs gained since 2012, when 1,397,000 jobs were added.

“Teens have not participated in the job market at the same rate they did since their peak work years in the 1970s. In fact, teen participation has dropped since the recovery in 2009, when 37.5% of teens were in the labor force,” said Andrew Challenger, Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

While the teen participation rate hovers near 35%, the sheer number of opportunities, as well as student desire to gain employment experience, may bring more teens back into the labor force.

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