Beyond boosting a teen’s self-​​esteem, jobs for young people give them skills that pre­pare them for the work­place and full-​​time employ­ment. A study released in July by the Center for Labor Market Studies at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity found that having summer jobs made it less likely that low-​​income teens in Boston would engage in violence.

But teen employ­ment in Mass­a­chu­setts has declined dra­mat­i­cally over the past decade or so. In 2000, about half of all Mass­a­chu­setts teens had jobs; by 2012, that plunged to about one-​​quarter.

The recent reces­sion and slug­gish recovery are largely respon­sible for the dif­fi­cul­ties teens have in finding jobs. With unem­ploy­ment at 7 per­cent in Mass­a­chu­setts, recent col­lege grad­u­ates and other adults are taking retail and fast-​​food jobs, which his­tor­i­cally went to teens, said Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies.

Teens are working at the lowest rate than they have in our his­tory,” said Sum. “Employers have choices. Kids go to the back of the queue.”

Read the article at The Boston Globe →