Employers Hire Fewer Teens This Summer

Despite overall job growth in May and June, the employment picture for teenagers is less rosy.

The number of employed teenagers – those between the ages of 16 and 19 years old – grew by 661,000 in June, a significant drop from the same period a year ago, when 779,000 teens joined the ranks of employed Americans, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics analyzed by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. In 2012, nearly 860,000 teenagers were added to the employment ranks in June.

The current job gains among U.S. teens in June is at the lowest level since 2010, when just 497,000 teens were added to payrolls. The summer hiring period typically represents the peak for those in this age group.

Despite the June swoon, May was a robust period for teen hiring, as 217,000 teens were added to payrolls, the strongest hiring May for the age group since 2006.

Overall, companies have hired 878,000 teens this summer, down 12 percent from the year-earlier period, according to government data.

“Teenagers who have not had much luck in the traditional job market may want to take a more entrepreneurial approach, offering their services as lawn mowers, dog walkers, baby sitters, etc.," said John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, in a press release. "Whether teen job seekers take a traditional path or one that is more entrepreneurial, the biggest mistake they can make is taking a passive approach."