Summer break is offi­cially here for most Amer­ican stu­dents: time off from early morn­ings, hit­ting the books, and taking tests. In years past, many teens looked to the summer months as a time to increase the hours they worked at their part-​​time jobs or take on summer gigs, such as babysit­ting, life­guarding, and fes­tival work. Unfor­tu­nately, the reces­sion has taken a toll on teen employ­ment; today, according to a report by the Center for Labor Market Studies (CLMS) at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, “The Steep Decline in Teen Summer Employ­ment in the U.S., 2000–2010 and the Bleak Out­look for the 2011 Summer Teen Job Market,” only about a quarter of teens can find paying jobs.

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