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Summer Employment Tough for Teens and 20-Somethings [AUDIO]

Job opportunities for teens and 20-somethings are the lowest they have been in years according to a report.

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The Brookings Institution found that 26 percent of teens between the ages of 16 and 19 had a job in 2011, down from 45 percent in 2000. Job opportunities declined 11 percent for college-aged adults over the same period.

So, what does that mean for summer job prospects? It certainly will not be easy for some.

“Teens are typically more vulnerable than other workers to downturns in the economy. They have less experience and, by definition, lower levels of education, so they can be out-competed by older workers,” said Martha Ross, fellow with Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution. “Many of the industries that they get jobs in like retail, hospitality and restaurants, depend on people having discretionary income and in a recession, people tend to not spend as much.”

So, how can a young adult improve his or her odds of getting a job?

“If you are a student enrolled in a technical education program and if you are learning job-related skills, you really do have something to offer and if you’re in a strong program, your teacher may have good relationships with employers who can put you up higher in the cue when they’re looking at candidates,” Ross said. “Internships are also a possibility for college students, but some need income and can’t necessarily afford to take an unpaid internship or focus on educational enrichment activities which will help them down the line.”

Unfortunately, Ross admits while it will be a struggle for most, it’s especially challenging for those without a four-year degree to find work.



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