Thursday, March 1, 2012

Teenage Employment

According to this graph, employment among teenagers, ages 16 to 17, has decreased dramatically over time. Employment among teens is less than half of what it was up until the late 1990s/early 2000s. There are a few different causes. I think the primary reason for the decline is the increase in technology. Now, many jobs that could have been done by a teenager back in the 1950-1980s can be automated, or done in a more efficient way, by fewer employees. Technology always means a decrease in unskilled labor. Another big reason is how immigration has changed. Illegal immigration has dramatically increased over the years, so they often take up many unskilled labor positions that teenagers have traditionally had. They will work for less, and probably do a better job. Honestly, most teenagers suck at their jobs. Also, with minimum wage being so high compared to what it was decades ago, employers are more likely to hire older, more experienced (or at least more mature) employees.


Amber said...

I believe a decrease in employment among teenagers should be seen as a very bad thing right now. Although the economy isn't exactly where everyone would like it to be, teenagers need this work ethic to grow up more responsibly. Your immigration point is interesting and probably true but I wouldn't necessarily agree with the phrase, "Honestly, most teenagers suck at their jobs." Since the economy is in such bad shape, I know many teenagers and younger adults very happy and hardworking at their jobs. They realize how lucky they are to simply have one because of the economy. I, for one, would never take advantage of the job I have because I know how many people young and old who would be so incredibly happy to be making minimum wage.

Darcy said...

I agree with your point Michael, and also with Amber. But I think another reason teenage employment has decreased is because unemployment on a national scale has increased. Now, employers are more likely to hire out of work adults who have had previous job experience and possibly a degree.