Teens seeking summer jobs got off to a strong start in May, as employment among 16- to 19-year-olds grew by 217,000 in May. That was the biggest May employment gain for teenagers in eight years, according to an analysis of the latest employment data by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
"'Today more and more teens are encouraged to get other kinds of alternative experiences," said John Challenger, CEO of the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. "Going to work in the local retail store, like we used to, is not as valuable."
Much attention has been given to record-low participation rates in the wake of the Great Recession. The latest data indicate that only 62.5 percent of non-institutionalized working age adults are employed or actively seeking employment. The remaining 37.5 percent, so the story goes, is so frustrated with the lack of opportunities that this group has simply dropped out of the labor market.
After getting off to its strongest start in seven years, the pace of teen hiring in June and July declined from last year’s levels, as a slowdown in economic activity provided little reason to grow payrolls. Overall, teen employment gains during the three-month summer hiring season were down 3.0 percent from 2012, according to an analysis of government employment data by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.