Tight Labor Market Has Increased Demand For Teens In Summer Jobs

  • A tight labor market is increasing demand for teenage workers and boosting their wages to higher-than-usual levels as many teens around the country look for jobs during their summer breaks.
  • The proportion of Americans between the ages of 16 and 19 who have jobs has trended up in recent years, as nearly 34% of Americans in that age group had jobs in April compared to 30% in 2019, the last pre-pandemic summer, according to government data.
  • Hourly pay has also trended up in the sorts of industries that typically employ teens, such as restaurants, retailers and amusement parks. Pay in those industries rose about 5% in April compared to one year ago – above the typical pre-pandemic increase of 3% annually but only marginally higher than the 4.9% year-over-year inflation rate measured in April.
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