Fewer teens getting summer jobs; what they're doing instead

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 72 percent of teens had summer jobs in 1978. That number dropped to just 43 percent in 2016.


Michael Applegate is a senior at Coronado High School. He's thinking about getting a job after school this year, but that's not his first priority this summer.

"I'm going to be taking an online class so I can get my credits out of the way, so that way, I can graduate early," he said.

He's part of a growing generation of teens focusing on school.

"That's what we've been told ever since we've been growing up: School comes first, jobs are second," said Applegate.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 72 percent of teens had summer jobs in 1978. That number dropped to just 43 percent in 2016.

"This year, I could have gotten a job, but I didn't because all the AP classes and dual credit and I felt like it was really hard to balance both," said Andrew Martinez, a senior at Coronado.

The BLS reports that in 1985, 10.4 percent of teens were enrolled in school during July. Now, more than 40 percent of students take part in summer classes.

But many students also see the benefits of summer work.

"I think it's important for people to get a summer jobs because they can get experience for the future," said Emily Hough, a junior at Coronado.

Experts say they expect the trend to continue in the coming years.

"I'm getting my school done and I'm going to be graduating early because I'm spending more time on my school and less time working getting minimum wage," said Applegate.

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