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No idea why, for some reason teens with summer jobs was discussed. Gov statistics (donno if snopes approves) show in the 2010s 30% of teens have summer jobs, 1970s 70% had summer jobs. Comments?
 

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I'll make one...

I always had a summer job, and so did most of my friends (mid to late 80's). Nowadays I'm on a scholarship committee. The applications we get show an almost crazy amount of activities among high school kids aiming for college. If I had done all the things these kids do, I probably wouldn't have had time for a job, either. Sports, school government, tutoring younger kids, church activities, volunteer projects in the community, charity work...these kids can spend hundreds of hours a year on that stuff. It's way, way beyond what anyone I knew did back when I was in school. At least where I live, getting into a good college is harder than ever, so I guess this is what it takes.

I'm sure this means students graduate with even more debt, because no one is saving $$ for college at this rate. The world keeps changing, and not necessarily for the better. I'm glad I grew up when I did, because from my perspective, kids have it way worse now.

MrFreeze
 
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When we got out of school for the summer the year I turned 16 (1970) my father told me "I see they are building a new apartment complex across the street from the high school. Why don't you take one of my hammers and ride your bike over there in the morning and see if they need helpers". So I did that the next morning and the dang superintendent hired me! I guess he saw that I brought my own hammer so he put me on a framing crew.

BTW: I signed a W4 form and that was the entire "new hire paperwork".
 

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+1 on everything MrFreeze said.

All of my friends growing up were big on extracurricular activities that would help them get into school. I wasn't so big on that so I instead worked at an ice cream shop (and was very happy doing so). Fortunately for me, I'm a straight-A student and a minority, so I got a bit of boost in getting into colleges and it was enough to get me into the school I wanted to go to. But I didn't get into UNC whereas my friend (an average dude with average grades but a ton of volunteer experience) did. My impression is that right now volunteer/community work and proving you can be part of a team is more important to schools than proving you can hold a minimum-wage job. Kind of actually makes sense to me.

That said, I'll take a guess at another reason the numbers of job-holding teenagers are declining. In the 70's, a summer of work was enough to pay your tuition for a year at college. Now, a summer of work will pay for... well, not that. Not anywhere close. Whereas 70's children may have actually been able to make a measurable amount of money to buy themselves things (cars, schooling, etc.), today's kids can't. So it's probably more beneficial to focus on extracurriculars that will help get you into school (or just enjoy a hedonistic responsibility-free summer) than it is to try to make a paltry amount of money which will not even put a dent in the student loans you're destined to have, or be able to buy you even a basic set of wheels.

When I worked 30 hours a week at the ice cream shop at $8/hr, my take-home after taxes was less than $2600 a summer. Tuition at my school was $22,000 a year - and I went to a cheap state school. The reason I worked was because I wanted to be able to pay insurance and gas on the car that I inherited from my family (note: I was given this car, so I didn't have to save up for several summers to buy it) and also I really like ice cream :) I suppose that after 4 years of doing this, I did build up enough of a savings account to pay for half of Jane... but that's again because I was lucky, and got a full-ride scholarship to school. I've lived a charmed life up til this point and realize it. But had I not gotten that scholarship, my four years of work (which amounted to $7500) would have paid for... well, almost a third of my freshman year of college. And at that point, I'm sure I would have rather spent my summers really living it up.
 

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Add on to that a couple issues:

1. When a job opens around here there are so many adults applying, teh teens get ignored.
2. Many kids today won't work jobs like fast food. They actaully import foreign kids to fill the minimum wage jobs because American kids won't take them.
 

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When I was 14 (1984) I went to work for my step father laying sod and cleaning up construction sites in the summer...hot southern summer. When I was 15 I said :wtf: with that and got a real job for the very first Little Ceasers Pizza outside the state of Micigan. Not sure why they chose Huntsville, AL. Met the founders when they came down for the grand opening. Nice little old couple in their 50's I would suspect then. Rode my bike to work 5 days a week, played football, and remained on the A/B honor roll. When I turned 16, I went to work for Pizza Hut during the week, Coca-Cola on the weekends, played football and still remained on the A/B honor roll. I wanted no part of the $hit my step father put me through the summer of 1984. I agree, kids these days live in a constant cake walk. Pisses me off...my oldest son turns 20 tomorrow. I spent close to $10K with trainers and college visits and student loans because he wanted to continue his football career after high school. Small college in Kansas gave him a $85K scholarship to come play football. He quits after one semester...says it's too much like a job. I said "No $hit Sherlock" it is a job, they are paying you to go to school in return for being on the field. I told him if you come home, guess what...you get to go to school and get a job.

Rant over...sorry.
 

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Seems the "summer jobs program" money has become only for the for those who are poor. Kids for the middle class have attained a kind of status like their parents have money so never mind. And, as already mentioned, the middle class kids have to aspire to get to college by doing all these other things. No time for work.
 

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There's got to be some reason for it, what it is I'm not completely sure. When I was in highschool, I did it all...a fall and spring sport, student council, marching band, jazz band, large group speech, individual speech, pit band for the school play, conflict manager, pianist for the choir and at church. But I didn't do these things during the summer.

During my summers I detassled. During the summer and even the school year I was a bus boy at a local steakhouse one night a week, I also had 13 piano or guitar students every week. Another summer I worked as a telemarketer, and the summer before my senior year I sold Cutco knives and trained Arabian horses. And in our free time, my brother and I basically built our house with my dad.

I was still valedictorian despite working a lot, and restored my first car my junior year (cost me $8000). But juggling all of this taught me personal responsibility, time management, and a work ethic.

One of my best friend's sons is 12, he just loves to work. I don't get this kid. He has a twin brother who couldn't care less. But when he's over here, his idea of a 'good time' is working. Whether it's picking up sticks in my yard, mowing, ANYTHING--he just wants to be working. He's already buying lawn mowers and snow blowers and getting jobs mowing his neighbor's yards. The kid just turned 12! I hire him to help me bale hay (he lives for it). His dad helps me too. His dad does it for free, but we both think it's important to pay Kevin so that he understands with hard work comes reward, and we try to encourage it. That boy will be a wealthy man some day.
 

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I had my first paying job at the age of 12. Worked for my brothers father in law cleaning his tool & die shop and other various jobs. I cut grass everyday of the summer and shoveled snow in the winter. It instilled a very good work ethic in me. I saved the money and bought my first car and had it sitting in the driveway waiting for me to turn 16 and get a drivers license. Now a days I see my older neighbors hiring professional lawn care co's to cut their grass. Younger people today just won't get out to do anything. Too hot, too cold, it's raining, it's always something that requires more rest.
 

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I dunno. I know I've had summer jobs till i hit college and I loved them. Kids need to learn what it's like to ear money, to take care for yourself. My favorite summer Job was when I worked as a Beach attendant on Cape Cod. We had a summer house there.
 

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Should we call this the minimum wage thread part two?

Supply and demand. Why would I hire a teenager who's going to go back to school and may not have the professionalism to do a good job when I can get an adult who will take it seriously?
 

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Supply and demand. Why would I hire a teenager who's going to go back to school and may not have the professionalism to do a good job when I can get an adult who will take it seriously?
I thought we wanted teenagers for low skill, transient jobs instead of having to pay a "lifer" adult $15/hr. Which is it? An adult who will take it seriously, but who in turn has higher expenses and will demand higher wages, or a teenager who won't take it seriously and will be happy with whatever wages?

Personally, I wish I could go back to being a teenager and not work. I was poorer when I worked because I was always saving my money for BS that teenagers want, like an Alpine receiver for my car, and subwoofers. My senior year I did not work, my parents gave me $30 a week to pick up my sisters from school. I actually had more spending money and didn't have some piece of **** manager of a grocery store treating me like crap based on my age rather than merit. You would not believe the garbage they put even the best workers through. As a teen you just could not do enough to make up for your age. The problem with many teenage jobs is the management in those workplaces are mouth breathing pieces of **** and they don't know it.
 

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The reality is that there is presently a large pool of unskilled adult workers, meaning fewer opportunities for teenagers. Adults are generally more likely to take it seriously and are therefore more desirable. Should wages go up for adults, then employers may find it acceptable to pay less and have less reliable workers.

There is a balance to everything and it's not all that difficult to see.
 

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How times & culture has changed over the decades I'm a Baby boomer I was lucky enough to beborn in a community where the economy was truck farms & light industrial,but close to major city.
My friends and I started doing paid jobs when we were 12. Working on the farms in morning and delivering newspapers in afternoon.
I never knew anyone who hadn't worked in Summer untill I went away to college in 1965.


My three kids all had Summer jobs(80's) as soon as they were legally able.
Joe
 

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Another issue to point out that I know is a valid one today is that a lot of kids can't get jobs because they don't have cars and their parents aren't willing and/or able to drive them to their workplace. Not an issue where public transportation is good, but if you live in suburbia you're pretty SOL. Had a couple of friends actually who got jobs working with me, only to have to quit a month or so later because their parents got tired of driving them to work. Pretty odd...
 

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When I turned 16 I couldn't wait to get a job, this meant a car and freedom! I had a paper route for 4 years prior and saved my money, I bought my first car, a '65 coupe from a neighbor. My son is 20 and has had a job since he turned 16, is currently working grounds at a golf course (45 hrs/wk) while on college break, he has 2 cars and pays for his own food/fun while at school. My nephew on the other hand, 17 yrs old, lazy, no drivers license, no desire to get a job, living with a friends family that are all on public assistance. Lot of lazy kids out there.
 

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I'll make one...

I always had a summer job, and so did most of my friends (mid to late 80's). Nowadays I'm on a scholarship committee. The applications we get show an almost crazy amount of activities among high school kids aiming for college. If I had done all the things these kids do, I probably wouldn't have had time for a job, either. Sports, school government, tutoring younger kids, church activities, volunteer projects in the community, charity work...these kids can spend hundreds of hours a year on that stuff. It's way, way beyond what anyone I knew did back when I was in school. At least where I live, getting into a good college is harder than ever, so I guess this is what it takes.

I'm sure this means students graduate with even more debt, because no one is saving $$ for college at this rate. The world keeps changing, and not necessarily for the better. I'm glad I grew up when I did, because from my perspective, kids have it way worse now.

MrFreeze

This is the most common remark on modern mindset of the younger generation. It's what students do for scholarships grants and college applications.
There's only so many hours in day, and so many hours you'll have energy to keep on doing it per day.

scholarship money compensates the lack of having a job. I can get about $5,000-$7,000 that summer - and I don't have to deal with customers who think they are right
 

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I think most businesses are reluctant to hire anyone under 18 these days. Yeah, I started washing dishes at a seafood restaurant when I was 14. That's pretty unlikely to happen these days. Too many policies, procedures, guidelines, requirements and restrictions.

My brother had a paper route when we were in middle school. He used to get up before dawn and ride his bike through the neighborhood to deliver newspapers. Can you imagine the liability concerns of doing that today? Now newspapers are delivered by mysterious individual in a '72 Pinto without a muffler. The same person delivers papers to most of the town. Of course, not nearly as many people subscribe to a printed newspaper these days.

As mentioned, teens are also booked every hour of every day. Many kids play baseball year-round. They have soccer, cheerleading, dance, Scouts, sports camp, you name it. It never stops. Parents are desperate to keep their kids involved in organized activities to keep them away from gangs, drugs and strangers.

Parents are desperate to get their kids athletic scholarships because college is so insanely expensive and academic scholarships are getting hard to come by. I know lots of parents who sent their kids to college on a free ride soccer scholarship. Female athletes are pretty much guaranteed to get a scholarship somewhere. By law, public universities and colleges have to have a female athlete for every male athlete. They recruit a lot of guys for the football and basketball teams to make money, so they have to recruit hard for the girls teams.

Thus, it's understandable why most teens don't have summer jobs these days. When you compare the meager wages they'd get from a summer job to an athletic scholarship that can be worth $100,000, it's not a hard choice.

And while getting a car was a primary goal of every kid in my high school, not so much anymore. Used cars are crazy expensive. Car insurance is mind-blowing expensive for a teen. For many teens, it's just not worth it. Teens used to socialize at the drive-in, at the burger joint and at the mall and they had to drive there and back. Now teens socialize online. No car needed.
 

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I'm an old guy with a teenage daughter, so I see both sides.

I always had at least one job after Jr. High, often more than one, but has been pointed out earlier the amount of $ I could earn actually stood a chance at making a dent in my college tab. That is no longer the case.

My daughter's a straight A student and takes every AP course the school offers (heck, even her electives she fills with extra physics and chemistry). She's a section leader in the school band, school orchestra, and the regional youth orchestra, all of which play competitions, and gives up her entire month of August for marching band. During the week she's hitting the books, doing homework until 11PM-midnight nearly every night. She's laser-focused on getting into the right college, and has been since middle school. Believe it or not, none of this is due to pressure from her parents. Her lifestyle couldn't be more different than the comparatively laid-back adolescence I enjoyed. We're not poor, but a $58k/yr tuition (not including mandatory Freshman housing, food program, and books) isn't something we're going to be able to swing, no matter how bright and deserving she may be. This kid is flat busting her a$$ in a way I never had to.

You want to see teenagers taking after school and summer jobs again? Do something about the obscene increase in college tuition over the last 25 years. I guarantee at least one kid would much rather be slinging ice cream and hanging out with her friends on the weekends. Frankly, she has less than three weeks this Summer that aren't already accounted for. I'm taking her camping for two, and I'll encourage her to go to the beach in the time that's left. I'm more worried about her burning out than failing to develop a work ethic.
 

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My son turned 17 last week , just finished 10th grade , and is starting his second summer working at the local summer camp . He runs the dirt go kart track and does a lot of the maintenance - welding , axle swaps , rebuilding - on the karts. The camp was very happy to have him back and about $10 per hour is not to bad . The free lunch is also nice on my food bill. My son does not yet have is license , talk to mom , but he does have a 97 Civic that he has fully rebuilt the motor in one of my customers machine shop . He jumped at the experience of a machinist showing him the proper way to build an engine . Kids need a summer job and the time to go do things with their friends . It is a tough juggling act .
 
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