Teens Now Prefer Summer Studying Over Summer Jobs

Remember when we would go to work at the corner store, or the mall, even local restaurants during our summer vacation from school? And we looked forward to having the job, getting away from academics, and making money? Well, kids these days actually prefer studying for the summer.

One recent high school graduate decided to take a physics course during the summer, among a couple other classes in her summer school. She says it lets her learn more, and get more experience that way, and takes up all of her time during the day and evenings with homework. “Anything else I wouldn’t have had time for. I was booked every day,” she says.

It’s a trend that started back in the mid-’90s, but really started growing quickly around ’01-’02-ish, when teens started not getting summer jobs and focussed more on school. In 1978, about 72% of teens had summer jobs. Last year in 2016, only 43% of teens had summer jobs. Another 42% of teens in 2016 were taking summer courses, which is about 4 times more than 1985.

A lot of it is increased competition too, with “older workers” returning to the job market, and a lot of places probably just aren’t hiring so they can save some extra cash. Another thing is that the percentage of high school students taking advanced courses has gone up, more than doubling from 1982 to 2009.

Meanwhile, here in Sacramento if you or your teen ARE looking for a summer job, it turns out that JC Penney is hiring right now, quite a few positions, too.


More from Mark S. Allen In The Morning

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