Expert: 'A Lot Tougher For Teens To Find Jobs'

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The summer jobs season is almost here. For many young people, finding work won't be easy. Gov. Deval Patrick announced this week that the state will fund 3,000 summer jobs for at-risk youth this year.

But with the state's unemployment rate at 8 percent, teens could be competing with adults for many summer jobs.

Lew Finfer, with the group Youth Jobs Coalition, cites a recent Northeastern study reporting that teen employment has declined by 20 percent in the last 10 years. Last year, according to Finfer, only 20 percent of the teens in Lynn who applied for jobs found employment.

"The unemployment rate is still stuck at a very high level," Finfer said. "The teens say they use the job money to support their families."

Recreation, restaurants, and beaches are good sources for teen employment, but the recent economy has affected availability for jobs, Finfer said.

"A lot of adults who are out of work, and seniors who need to go back to work, are taking relatively lower wage jobs because of the recession, and a number of those jobs were held by teens," he said.

Finfer predicts one out of two teens will get a job in Boston, while smaller towns like Brockton and Lynn might see a one out of five success rate.


This program aired on May 11, 2011.

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Bob Oakes was a senior correspondent in the WBUR newsroom, a role he took on in 2021 after nearly three decades hosting WBUR's Morning Edition.



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