As summer break approaches and school seasons conclude, teens in California will have a more difficult time finding a job than their demographic counterparts in every other state, according to Census Bureau data released by the Employment Policies Institute.
With 36.2 percent of its teens unable to find employment, California leads all other states in teen unemployment — only the District of Columbia, with its 51.7 percent teen unemployment rate, surpasses the Golden State.
Overall, teen unemployment rose in 17 states and Washington, D.C., between April 2011 and April 2012, and fell in 32 states.
Nationally, the teen unemployment rate stands at 24.9 percent, and has averaged above 20 percent for over 40 months. The number of employed teens fell by 14,000 from March to April 2012.
1) California 36.2%
2) South Carolina 31.2%
3) Rhode Island 29.8%
4) Washington 29.0%
5) Arizona 29.0%
6) Nevada 28.8%
7) Idaho 28.4%
8) North Carolina 28.2%
9) Missouri 27.7%
10) Louisiana 27.6%
** District of Columbia 51.7%
Did somebody say McJobless?
The American job market is no place for students as the number of employed high schoolers has hit its lowest level in more than 20 years, according to new figures from the National Center for Education Statistics.
In 1990, 32 percent of high school students held jobs, versus just 16 percent now. Blame their elders.
Sectors that traditionally have offered teens their first paying gig — fast-food chains, movie theaters, malls and big-box retailers — have now become the last resorts for out-of-work college graduates or older Americans forced back into the labor force out of sheer financial necessity. The resulting squeeze has left students on the outside looking in.
“By definition, teenage workers get the jobs that are left over,” said Charles Hirschman, a sociology professor at the University of Washington who has studied and written about student employment. “When you can’t find someone else to bag your groceries or work construction, often teenagers are the labor force you can count on to pick up that slack for a low wage. But now, with the recession, everybody has moved down. Those jobs aren’t going to teenagers.”