DN Editorial: Summer jobs needed for teens

Posted: July 05, 2011

One in a series highlighting aspects of the nation's biggest problem. No, not the deficit - unemployment.

This summer promises to be the worst labor market for teenagers since the government started tracking teen unemployment at the end of World War II. According to Andrew Sum of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University, in the summer of 2000, 52 out of 100 teens had jobs; this summer, only about 29 out of 100 will.

Young people have steadily been pushed out of jobs by people in their 50s, who are far more attractive to employers since they already possess "soft skills" that kids used to learn in their first jobs.

The federal stimulus money that funded summer jobs programs has run out, and was not renewed by Congress. So local programs provide the only source of job creation.

Philadelphia Youth Network's Work Ready program has been a leader in providing summer jobs for youth; all it takes is a $1,000 investment to fund an internship or job that make a huge difference to a young person. This year, three times as many kids applied as there were jobs available. There's still time: companies should call 267-502-3800.

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