Many teens have quit looking for summer workon June 6, 2012 @ 6:46 am (Updated: 1:57 pm - 6/6/12 )
May is considered the first month of the teen summer hiring season. U.S. Labor Department statistics show that 157,000 teenagers, ages 16-to-19 got hired in May, double the number in May last year.
Despite the improvements, the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, says a growing number of teenagers are abandoning the summer job market.
Marlena Sessions, executive director of the Workforce Development Council of King County said that's one tragic result of the recession.
"What we're actually seeing is this great recession has not been an equal opportunity recession when it comes to 16 to 24 year olds," Sessions said.
Although she doesn't have specific numbers, she says large numbers of teenagers have stopped trying to find summer work.
"These are young people who, in many cases, they didn't work last summer, they didn't work the summer before, and some of them are waking up at age 20, never having had a summer job," she said.
Sessions said summer jobs help teenagers gain valuable work experience. For many, that's been lost, despite the good early summer jobs numbers this year.
"While it's great to see, in general, more jobs out there, certainly in service industries, retail, food service, things that we think are great summer jobs and first jobs for young people it's going to be difficult even for a young person who's a little more mature now to compete if he or she has never worked before," Sessions explained.
Bank of America and Expeditors International are among the companies supporting summer employment for youth with grants for jobs and skill training.
Federal stimulus dollars for jobs creation from the Recovery Act of 2009 are long gone and the King County Workforce Council is urging other local companies to find a way to hire a young person this summer, or at the very least offer an internship or participate in a mentoring program to help young workers build their resumes.
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