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Why Are Teens Not Working Anymore?

Just 35% of teens are getting summer jobs, according to a civilian labor force study, this is down from 60% in the late 1970's.  What contributes to this working change?  This question was posed to a local group recently and some of the answers were surprising, and some not so much. 

Always an initial answer to this dilemma of the teens and young people working is that they are lazy.  While I do support the fact that this generation is different, I don't always support that the problem is 100% them.  I have 2 kids at home who will enter the workforce in the next decade, while I want to teach them great work ethic I also want them to have a great childhood.  This has been a shift in parenting style over the last generation and it often does lead to kids who aren't as used to work as previous generations.  More training needs to be involved in the process of applying for and starting jobs for the first time, but labeling them as lazy doesn't jive with the full issue in my opinion.  

Another issue is that life outside of work is of growing importance to these young people.  Often times they'd rather have experiences and scrimp on the things money can buy.  Whether good or bad this is a huge shift in the motivations of this generation.  Many other examples were given locally to help us figure out this question such as: support at home and school is different, employers are looking for age and experience, adults are working the jobs that teenagers used to, academics and extra circulars are more intensive.

Whatever the reason, one of the things we will have to begin to change is our response to it!  We can no longer ignore that we need more workforce.  Whether that means coming up with entry programs to teach kids better work ethic, working with their shift in motivations and changing the way we offer work and incentives, or allowing artificial intelligence to continue to automate jobs so that less workforce is needed.   

Let this begin change in our thinking together!  Update me with  what this starts in your minds, lleaming@goponca.com