Have you noticed that teenagers just don't seem to have jobs like they used to?
Why is that?
Well, oddly enough, it looks like education is to blame.
Really. Over the past 50 years or so, the rate of high school graduates enrolled in college has gone up by about 25 percent. Over that same time, the rate of teenagers working has decreased by about the same amount.
This isn't to say that teens are simply choosing school work over work. Yes, they are putting more emphasis on it than they did before, but the system is also much more difficult to navigate than it was before.
For example, school is simply more demanding than it once was, forcing teens to spend more time on it. However, employers are also becoming less likely to hire teens. With recent minimum wage increases, employers would rather pay a skilled worker than an inexperienced teen. Also, summer jobs simply aren't cool anymore, as they have been replaced by unpaid internships.
"I do like the idea of unpaid internships because it gives younger people a way to peek into their industry of interest, but the problem is that it doesn’t teach them about money management. The biggest lesson I learned from working at age 9 was that I made financial mistakes most twenty-somethings make today. I was able to fall and pick myself up earlier and that, ironically, gave me a head start.
Overall your kid is most likely taking summer classes to get ahead, but only if the degree they are working towards is something they know they want to do. How can they know if they haven’t done it? So if we are more concerned about our kids setting up careers than making money, then we need to push them into those industries of interest, rather than into the classroom. That way they can know it is for them earlier, and if it’s not, they can move on."
Learn more about why teens don't have jobs at The Atlantic
Learn about summer jobs that you're teen could get at The Penny Hoarder
To hear more of Justin's take on teenagers having jobs, and other parenting topics, you can check out all of his stuff at The Dad Podcast
Check out his latest episode with Kiff VandenHeuvel about being in a mixed race marriage, raising a daughter, and MOTW.