If you are over thirty years old, chances are you worked as a teenager.  You gained skills, knowledge, confidence, and a work-ethic through this experience; it was an important part of your growth.  Unfortunately, things have changed in recent times.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 1980, 57% of teens aged 15-19 were employed in some capacity during the summer or school year.  By the year 2000, that number had dropped to about 50%.  As of today, that figure has been halved; with only 25% of young people able to find jobs. 

Meanwhile, research shows that having work experience as a teen increases the chances that a school will complete college to obtain a bachelors degree, obtain higher level position (more benefits, more opportunities), and earn %22 more later in their adult life.

Unfortunately, many young people face the classic “catch-22” of employment: You can’t get a job, because you don’t have experience.  However, you can’t get experience unless you have a job.  This is a problem, because teen employment benefits the whole community.  Furthermore, there are costs to us as a community, state, and nation when we don’t invest in the career development of our youth in this way.  To learn more about research on teen employment and unemployment, click here.  

Here are some resources designed to support employers who are mentoring teens in the workplace:

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To find more news and research, please visit the News & Events page.

If you have questions or need assistance with youth employment, please contact the masshire Franklin Hampshire workforce Board:

For adult-oriented employment information and assistance, please visit the following websites: