According to a new report from Bloomberg, teenage girls are better at getting jobs than their male peers. In the 16 to 19 age category, 2.25 million teenage girls are employed, compared with 2.08 million boys. Working as teens will help these young women in their careers down the road.
It is not just important that young people make their own money and learn to handle it but jobs also prepares them for future professional environments. Plus, research shows that having a job during adolescence contributes to future earnings (if their education isn’t interrupted as a result of working.)
But there are still less girls (and boys obviously) working than ever before. According to Anne Lowery at Slate from the 1950s through the 1990s, between 45 and 60% of teenagers had summer jobs, with the numbers ebbing and flowing with the business cycle. One in four Americans age 16 to 19 were unemployed in February, according to the latest numbers from the Labor Department. Even as the overall jobless rate held firm at 8.3%, the teen rate climbed from 23.2 to 23.8%. The teen jobless rate is a big contributing factor in the overall job crisis. Plus, with retail employment going down, teen jobs are in more danger. According to Megan McArdle of The Atlantic, “the End of Retail is causing a permanent shift in teenage employment because there are no substitutes for retail jobs.”
But McArdle points out that with less teens working this does give them more free time which hopefully can be spent on their studies.