What’s your teen doing this summer? Making money or playing Wii??

Are your teens having problems getting a job?
Well, according to a new study from Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc, 2009 may be the first time since 1954 that fewer than 1 million teens, ages 16-19, will find summer employment. Teenagers will have more trouble finding a summer job this year.

In 2008, 1.154 million teenagers gained jobs in May-July, down nearly 30 percent from 2007, when 1.635 million teens joined the summer labor pool. Teen employment is already lower in 2009 than it was a year ago, with 4.7 million 16- to 19-year-olds currently employed compared to 5.3 million at the same time last year.

The job market has become increasingly tight for teenagers and the types of jobs they typically seek in retail and food service are being eliminated as consumer spending plummets. For the jobs that remain, teens are competing not only with other members of their age group, but also with older, more experienced job seekers willing to accept positions for which they are most
likely overqualified."

Thanks to President Obama, teens seeking paying part-time and/or summer jobs will find the 2009 Stimulus Act provides $1.2 billion for youth activities, including the creation of one million summer jobs for youths. The bill also extends from age 21 to age 24 the age of eligibility for youth services to allow local programs to reach young adults who are unemployed and not in school. The federal government will dispense funds to the states and ultimately trickle down to cities and communities in the form of jobs. Workforce Investment Boards will provide the discretionary over site for the programs. Your teen should check out their local CareerOneStop for more information on what's available in their community and eligibility or visit Due to economic uncertainties overall hiring has slowed and businesses are reluctant to hire minor teens. This infusion will help teens in areas hardest hit and with the greatest need. Others will still have to work to find work. Older teens 18-19, have more opportunities available to them. Minor teens will really have to work to find work in their local areas from employers willing to give them a chance. Next week I will post on other summer alternatives to working; internships and volunteering. All of the options are much more enriching than a summer spent playing Wii and Gameboy.

Regardless of your age, if you want a paying job you must demonstrate that you;
  • Have the basic education required to do the job,
  • Are willing to work hard and learn new things,
  • Have a positive attitude,
  • Are reliable.
  • Understand the needs of the business.

Make sure to help your teenager write a resume. A teenager seeking a summer job needs to stand out. Include any previous work, including: babysitting, lawn mowing, home repairs, community services and volunteer work. Also include any extra-curricular clubs and organizations in and outside of school. List 3-4 references (not parents) such as a previous employer, teacher, counselor, coach, pastor or neighbor.

Here are 6 easy steps to follow that will help your teen land a job this summer:
1. Check with teachers and school counselors about summer jobs in the area.
2. Apply at fast food restaurants, grocery stores, department stores and malls.
3. Put a "teenager seeks summer job" ad at the local grocery store, church or any community establishment. Send out emails to friends and neighbors.
4. Check with the city or town you live in (or nearby). Most cities/towns have websites to look for an "employment" contact. If not, call the main phone number and explain what you are looking for. Some large metro cities work with businesses just for teenager employment. Also, ask about positions at local community centers, parks and recreation programs. This includes day camps and life guard opportunities. Don't forget to ask about summer sports programs that may need coaching assistants etc.
5. Contact your local library. Often, libraries either have summer employment or can point you in the right direction.
6. Look on the internet to see what summer camps may be in and around the area where you live. Sometimes summer camps hire teens as assistants for crafts, sports, etc.

Information provided in this post is based on research from,, my personal experience with teens and other conversations with moms.