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Summer Jobs Disappear; Lazy Teens, Immigrants Blamed

Back in May, we highlighted a report which showed that across OECD countries, 35 million people between the ages of 16 and 29 are jobless. "Overall, young people are twice as likely as prime-age workers to be unemployed," the OECD said. 

As anyone who follows the slow motion trainwreck that is the EMU knows, youth joblessness across the periphery is a disaster, with unemployment rates between 40% and 50%. And things aren’t great in America either. As nonprofit Generation Opportunity recently noted, "the effective (U-6) unemployment rate for 18-29 year olds, which adjusts for labor force participation by including those who have given up looking for work, is 13.8 percent (NSA)."

Against this backdrop, consider the following from Bloomberg, who bemoans the demise of the legendary "summer job" in America and offers three explanations for its disappearance. 

Via Bloomberg:

At 41.3 percent, the July labor force participation rate of teens was the lowest for the month in the post-World War II period.


The teenage summer job has been going the way of telephone booths and the cassette tape for decades. The length of the downward trend has been masked by the fact that it's hard to tease apart teen summer jobs from teen employment more generally.


Looking at the jump in the labor-force participation of teens in July over the average for the school months, it's clear that summer jobs peaked in the mid-1960s and have been sliding since.



What gives?


1. This generation is lazy

Or, as Northeastern University labor economist Alicia Modestino puts it: "Some teens are doing other stuff" like coding camp, foreign travel or beaching it.


2. Typical teen jobs are drying up

"Think Blockbuster," said Modestino. 


3. Teens face competition

Modestino and other labor economists believe that the single-biggest explanation for the decline is that teenagers face stiff competition for what were once summer jobs from other workers, especially immigrants.

So basically, the excuses for the demise of the summer job are i) laziness, ii) lack of available employment, and iii) immigrant competition. 

Come to think of it, those three excuses are a pretty good explanation for all joblessness in America.