With summer around the corner, the economy is also hitting teenagers hard as well. Summer jobs are said to be scarce in the coming months. Only one out of four teens will actually get a job this summer.
Summer jobs and summer camps keep kids busy, provide a bit of money, and teach responsibility. High summer unemployment can result in idle behavior and street violence. Andrea Zopp, who is the Chicago Urban League President, stated, “Both national and local leadership continue to ignore the plight of youth who are most at risk for potential violence as a result of being left on the streets in the summer months when crime is at its most explosive.”
Based on trends spanning four decades, employment this summer for teenagers is predicted to be around 26 percent. In 2006, it was higher at 37 percent—making this year considerably low. Since the end of the recession in 2009, job growth has been slow ad sluggish with the unemployment rate still high across the nation. Federal money for summer job programs was not renewed and has since run out.
Without summer jobs to occupy and train teens, less experienced or even inexperienced, job seekers are released in the workforce. An increase in crime and violence may also become a problem. “We cannot continue to ignore the correlation between youth violence and teen employment. We know if our teens are in school or at a job they are not on the streets,” said Jack Wuest, the executive director of the Alternative Schools Network.