More teens are trading summer jobs to build their college résumé — here's why it might not pay off in the long run

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 - Resume

Summer jobs are worth more
than the paycheck

Chris Hyde/Getty

Patrolling beaches or scooping ice cream in exchange for a
paycheck has long been a summer tradition for teens in America.

But now, teens are less likely to have a summer job than
they were even 15 years ago. 

In 2000, just over half of teens between the ages of 16
and 19 had a paid summer job. The amount of employed teens
dropped to its lowest — 30.4% — in 2011, and has ticked up
slightly since then. Last summer, 34.5% of teens were able
to find work during the summer, according to the Drexel report

Teenage summer employment peaked in 1978 at 71.8%, according
to data
from the Bureau of Labor Statistics
as Business Insider previously reported

I recently appeared on
CBS This Morning
to talk about this pattern.

6 21 17 teen jobs COTD
Insider/Andy Kiersz, data from Bureau of Labor

As you can see from the above chart, the vast majority of
teens work in the leisure and hospitality industry, which
includes restaurants and hotels. The second largest industry,
has had its own issues lately
. Also:

It’s not that teens today are lazy. Some teenagers who
want to work are not able to find jobs, as companies hire
older workers who are available year-round.

For others, not working is a choice. They opt to focus
instead on internships and volunteer experience, to boost their
chance of getting into their college of choice.

But there’s a lot to be said for the value of a summer job,
especially when it comes to long-term financial success. 

As I told CBS anchors Anthony Mason and Dana Jacobson,
I work with the smartest people in New York City, and
some of them went to the very best schools, so I can
appreciate getting into a good college. But just earning a high
salary isn’t enough to be financially independent. You
really need to understand — and it sounds cheesy
— the value of a dollar. And how to manage your
money — how to save your money.

Even if you’re making minimum wage and bringing home $50 a day,
having a summer job will teach you those sorts of lessons.

Watch the full conversation below: 

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