Fewer teens have summer jobs

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The teenage workforce has diminished with only a third of teens with summer jobs. It’s a nationwide trend as unemployment figures dip to the lowest point in 18 years.

Businesses like the Dairy Queen in St. Augustine are struggling to find qualified workers.

The problem led to a forced temporary closure with the owners posting a sign that stated they could not depend on the staff to keep the location running.

Other local businesses are offering cash incentives to new hires, but fewer young people are biting.

There are a number of trends taking place nationally that could be reasons for the change, according to experts. Many teens are looking for internships at younger ages and others are looking for more community service- leading to fewer trying to find summer jobs.

In the past, finding a job in the summer has been something many teens looked forward to. Retail, food service, or hospitality were just a few industries they turned to. 

“Retail is shrinking. So stores are employing fewer employees and there are fewer of the stores. So that has an impact... I think the other trend is that teenagers are focused on the bigger picture,” said Candace Moody - Vice President of Communications/ CareerSource Northeast Florida 

Those looking for jobs in the summer shouldn’t lose hope, however. Many companies are still looking to hire them, said Moody.

“It’s still an important part of that surge in business for hospitality and retail. So employers do want to employ young workers. They want to be a part of building that future workforce but also future consumers,” said Moody who believes there are still many benefits for teens working early on. 

“We know that teenagers working early in those entry level jobs are an important part of their economic development. It helps them to learn how to work and navigate the workplace, customs, policies of the workplace,” said Moody.

One tip for teens looking for work is to look close to where you live. That way it is easier to get to work on time or pick up shifts if needed.

Showing you are a passionate worker goes a long way towards future recommendations.

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