* Teen Employment Has Many Benefits

By Dianna Miller, Courier & Press, July 4, 2017 –

Should your teen have a part-time job? There are pros and cons, but there are many benefits to getting some early work experience during the high school years.

On average, teenagers report the highest rates of unemployment. According to Labor Force Statistics, in early 2017 the youth unemployment rate for individuals ages 16 to 19 was around 14.7 percent. The unemployment rate for individuals 25 years and older was 3.6 percent. Indiana has a 10 percent unemployment rate for ages 16-24.

Interestingly, according to a recent study from Career Builder, from 2001-2014, the number of jobs held by teenagers decreased by 33 percent. Over 1.7 million jobs teens held were cut during that 13-year window.

The loss of teen jobs appears to be correlated partly to the fact that a growing number of people ages 55 and older are not exiting the labor market at the pace they used to. More individuals are retiring from their current job and transitioning to entry-level positions.

In this study from 2001-2014, the number of workers 55 years and older increased by 40 percent. These days, the workforce tends to favor experience over education.  Even though college is very valuable, it becomes even more valuable when paired with a resume full of experience.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, for every year a person works in their teens, their income raises 14-16 percent in their 20s. When teens choose to have a job, employment teaches responsibility and good work habits, improves time management and organizational skills and helps them save money.

Working also gives teens an opportunity to establish contacts with adult employers that can serve as a future reference.  As teens work a part-time job they learn how capable they are, which in turn builds confidence and self-reliance. This can help teens feel more independent and have the confidence to further their development with a sense of responsibility.

Some research indicates youth who are Hispanic, black or economically disadvantaged who balance school and a job are less likely to drop out of high school than those who do not work during their high school years.

Having a summer job is linked to an increase in the chances of youth graduating from high school and reducing the risk for involvement in criminal activity and the juvenile justice system.

In order to effectively balance the stress of academics and work, studies indicate that 20 or less hour per week is an optimal amount of time for a high school student to work. Some studies indicate that students who balance 10-15 hours of work per week during the school year earn higher grades than students who do not work.

The federal minimum wage has been raised 22 times since 1938 when it was set at 25 cents per hour. Currently, our minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.

If your teen is looking for a job, snagajob.com and groovejob.com could be great starting points for them. The most popular time of year for teens to look for jobs is from April to July. Point out the many benefits and encourage them to take advantage of the opportunity to gain experience, learn to balance their time, and make a little extra money.

Summer Job Can Be a Valuable Experience For Teen

Summer job

By Haley Droste, Courier & Press, May 10, 2016 –

Summer break from school is often anticipated for months before its arrival. The thought of sleeping in, no schoolwork and relaxing the summer away are reason enough to make anyone swoon.

The argument can be made, however, that balancing your teen’s summer freedom with a summer job is one of the best decisions for their present and future.

Teens have the opportunity to learn a great deal about themselves through summer work. A summer job provides the opportunity to build self-confidence and promote and instill independence.

Working may also give teens the opportunity to meet and mix with others they may have never met otherwise. It can also provide an opportunity for teens to learn from others and further develop their critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Bringing home a paycheck provides a sense of accomplishment. It also allows teens to gain a better understanding and appreciation for the value of money. When teens are required to earn and manage income, it provides them with a greater sense that money doesn’t “grow on trees.” Instead, they begin to understand that it requires hard work and responsibility to obtain it.

With gained income comes the responsibility to budget and plan. Deciding what they want to spend money on and what they need to save and plan for is a good exercise. Making their own money allows teens to gain some independence from family, which can help pave a successful pathway to adulthood.

Summer employment for teens provides the opportunity to learn several life skills, such as how to search and inquire about employment, how to complete an application, how to create a resume, how to seek out references for employment and how to successfully tackle an interview.

Seeking employment is a learning experience that can be helpful for teens even if they don’t end up getting a job. Summer employment is an opportunity for teens to have a “step up” on their competition when it comes time to enter the adult workforce.

Not only are teens learning the importance of hard work, reliability and time management through summer work, they are also gaining work experience universities and future employers will deem valuable.

A summer job can also help teens choose a potential career path. Summer work is a great time for teens to try out different things they may have an interest in. For example, if a teen is interested in sales, they may try a retail position. This could provide the opportunity to learn sales from a very basic level and gain experience in customer service.

If a teen is interested in teaching or working with children, they may look for a job working at a summer camp or baby-sitting. A summer job can be a springboard into the right direction for their future.

Summer should be enjoyed, but it should also be valued for the opportunity it provides for teens. As we near summer break, give some thought to what summer work may look like for your teen.