That Gentry, 18, will be collecting a paycheck makes him a rarity in today's working world. The percentage of teenagers who have jobs, expressed as the ratio of employment to population, hovered between 40 and 50 percent for much of the s and s. The percentage began dropping about a decade ago, but the declines have been especially steep since the beginning of the Great Recession in late With summer approaching and the job market showing signs of improvement, teens could have a better shot at getting hired than they have had in years. But it could take many more years for teens to resume working at pre-recession levels.
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In Maine, a teenager serves ice cream at a Dairy Queen for the summer. But data show teens' participation in the labor force is on the decline, and it has been for decades. Pedraam Faridjoo of Kensington, Md. Ryan Abshire from Carmel, Ind. Meme Etheridge of St. Simons Island, Ga.
Teenage employment at its best point since the recession
Teen labor force participation has been on a long-term downward trend, and the decline is expected to continue to , the latest year for which projections are available. A number of factors are contributing to this trend: an increased emphasis toward school and attending college among teens, reflected in higher enrollment; more summer school attendance; and more strenuous coursework. Parental emphasis on the rewards of education has contributed to the decline in teen labor force participation. Tuition costs have continued to rise dramatically, as has borrowing to pay for college.
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