Published July 26, 2021
2021 Teen Summer Job Update
Despite a strong May start with 219,000 jobs added, teens gained 625,000 jobs in June, the lowest June total since 2015 when 609,000 jobs were added, according to an analysis by global outplacement and business and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., using non-seasonally adjusted employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
“Restaurants, hotels, amusement parks, entertainment venues are all reporting a shortage of labor, many jobs that could be filled by teen workers. While teen employment has rebounded since last summer, the available jobs are not attracting more teen workers than normal,” said Andrew Challenger, Senior Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
The number of teens employed in June was 5,952,000 according to the BLS, the highest June total since 2017, when 5,964,000 were employed. So far this summer, teens have picked up 844,000 jobs, down 51% from the 1,723,000 jobs added in May and June last summer. It is the lowest May-June total since 2015 when 790,000 jobs were added.
“The Delta variant is making COVID resurge in many areas across the country, which could be keeping teens out of these mostly in-person positions. Employers are also reporting workers have a desire for flexibility and are attributing burnout to lack of applicants,” he added.
Indeed, the seven-day average as of July 25th for new cases was nearly 52,000, according to The New York Times. Unknowns about transmissibility for vaccinated Americans is causing a resurgence in precautions, especially among those with children too young to receive vaccinations or who are living with high-risk individuals. Today, St. Louis, an area seeing a spike in new cases, reinstituted mask mandates for all regardless of vaccination status.
Challenger Survey Data on the Workplace
Meanwhile, a survey conducted online by Challenger in July among 172 human resources and business leaders at companies of various sizes and industries nationwide found nearly 75% of companies cite a desire for more flexibility as a reason workers are quitting their jobs. Another 59% cited burnout.
Teens are also Experiencing Burnout
“Teens are most certainly experiencing similar burnout to their adult counterparts. Navigating virtual school, COVID precautions, distancing from friends, potentially missing major milestones, like Prom, sports events, or even graduation – are all vectors for burnout that could be keeping this cohort from also taking on summer work,” said Challenger.
Last summer saw a record high of 2,192,000 jobs gained by teens, a 26% increase from the 1,737,000 jobs gained by teenagers in the summer of 2019. The number of employed teens was down by over 1 million jobs from the peak employment figure of 6,409,000 in July 2019 to 5,353,000 in July 2020.
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