Teens out of summer jobs - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Teens out of summer jobs

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The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows fewer than three in 10 teenagers are working over the summer months.


But there are jobs available for teenagers but perhaps not necessarily the jobs they want or the jobs parents want them to have. Also, not working as a teenager could have some long term effects for this generation.

Consider 18-year-old Kayla Cunningham among the lucky ones. She has a summer job, and works as a childcare counselor at the alabaster YMCA.

"I talked to two of my friends last night and they said they wish they had a job because of college, it's coming up. [They said] that I am lucky," Cunningham says.

According to branch director Gwen Hatcher, there's been a 30 percent spike in adult applicants applying for positions. That's why teenagers like Cunningham face tough competition, Hatcher says.


Employment experts, like Sharon Fields of Manpower, say it's an unfortunate reality for young people. Gone are the days when only teenagers bused tables and ran cash registers during the summer months. On top of that, Fields says, generally, teens lack experience, workplace social skills and confidence. She encourages young people to make career choices early and take an unpaid internship, it could pay off.

"Make that decision at first then seek the internship because then you will be doing something that you like," Fields says.

Fields adds, in some cases, teenagers don't apply for jobs out of fear of being overlooked. Research also suggests that some teens are opting for school-based trips or programs instead of a job.