Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Teenagers: Start looking now for summer jobs

MADISON, Wis. (3/4/09)--The new federal stimulus package includes $1.2 billion to create up to one million summer jobs for youth. But even with that boost, there may not be enough jobs.

Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University, Boston, predicts in "Out With the Young and In With the Old: U.S. Labor Markets 2000-2008 and the Case for an Immediate Jobs Creation Program for Teens and Young Adults" (December) that teenage employment will dip to about 30% this summer, down from 32.5% last summer.

Sum's report is based on the Current Population Survey, a national household survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

So what's a teenager to do? Start early and be prepared. One job site designed by teenagers to help other teenagers is It includes resources such as an interactive resume builder and these tips for job seekers:

Visit your high school guidance office. Ask counselors to help you complete job applications and obtain references. Take names, addresses and phone numbers to your meeting.

Look locally. Watch for help-wanted signs or ask if a company intends to hire summer help. Remember to check with summer camps, amusement parks, and other seasonal businesses.

Visit online sites. Go and search other teen job sites to see what's available. Some sites require registration, but be on guard if you're asked for a name or phone number. Make sure the URL has an "s" (https://) if you're supplying personal information.

Make your job search known. Tell everyone--family, friends, coaches, teachers--that you're looking for a job and what your interests are. Sometimes the best connections are right next door. Many adults credit their networks for finding out about job openings and getting that first interview.

Create a resume. If you've never had a "real" job, don't hesitate to include babysitting, pet care, lawn mowing and other paid activities, along with volunteering and school activities. Prospective employers are likely to be impressed with your professional approach to a job search.

For more information, read, "Tough Times Series--Speaking of the Economy...What Do You Tell Your Kids?" in Home & Family Finance Resource Center.

courtesy of

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