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The teen labor 'crisis': By the numbers
A look at why some experts say high unemployment has pushed many young workers completely out of the job market
 
Flipping burgers: Suddenly a sought-after job.
Flipping burgers: Suddenly a sought-after job.
Corbis

The economic crisis has put millions of Americans out of work, but a new study says one group has been hit particularly hard — teenagers. "Kids got thrown out of the labor market in a big way," says professor Andrew Sum, co-author of the report by Northeastern University's Center for Labor Market Studies. As teens have been pushed aside to make room for older workers, young college graduates, immigrants, and out-of-work blue-collar workers, the teen employment rate has fallen to its lowest level since researchers started measuring it in 1948. (Watch a CBS report about teens seeking employment.) Here are some figures that illustrate how the teen job market has collapsed:

1 in 4
The number of teenagers who have a job this summer

1 in 2
The number of teens who had a job a decade ago

9.7 percent
Overall national unemployment rate

26.4 percent
Unemployment rate for teens in the market for a job

350,000
Jobs to be created over a decade by a $1 billion youth employment bill recently approved by the House

2.4 million
Number of teens currently looking for work

33 percent
Percentage of teens who are in the labor force, meaning they are either employed or looking for work

60 percent
Percentage of teens who were in the labor force 30 years ago, when youth employment was at its peak

14,000
Number of teen jobs lost in May

270,000
Number of jobs gained by workers between ages 20 and 24 in May

500,000
Number of teens the conservative Heritage Foundation estimates would be hired if the minimum wage for teens were dropped from the current rate of $7.25 an hour back to $5.15 an hour, which was the minimum in 2007

6.8 million
Adults who have been unemployed 27 weeks or longer. Economists attribute a rise in productivity and part of the drop in teen employment to this growing pool of older workers desperate for a job.

Sources: Huffington Post, USA Today, NJ.com, Fairfax Times, BusinessWeek, Wall St. Journal

 

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