Summer employment can be a time for teens to learn what office culture is like and perhaps even gain some useful skills and experience. For those from disadvantaged backgrounds learning what work is like and getting on the career ladder can be more valuable than have a bit of spending money. One of the great enemies of this is the minimum wage which makes many unskilled workers simply not worth their pay. The rise of unpaid internships is another issue where companies expect work for free that they might have paid for in years past. In recent years competition for any job has been fierce, and those with the least skills have been forced out. Often this means teen workers looking for summer work.
The WSJ reports from the front lines:
Younger New Yorkers plying the city’s difficult job market face a particularly dismal combination this summer: a labor pool flooded with unemployed adults and cuts to public programs.
Melissa Kissoon, 19 years old, is one of the tens of thousands of teenagers and college students who have had little luck in the city’s labor market. By her own count, the New York City College of Technology student has applied for more than 80 jobs. “I really don’t understand why,” she said. “It’s been draining and disappointing.”