Retail apocalypse impacts teens’ summer jobs

By Amy GanzJobsFOXBusiness

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As many of the nation’s retailers struggle to stay alive, they’re doing it with less summer and back-to-school help.

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Retail stores and malls have seen the biggest drop in workers, down from 2 million to 1.3 million in the past 18 years, according to a study from the Pew Research Center. This as e-commerce sites, such as Amazon, grab more market share. As FOX Business has previously reported, 2017 brought about 6,300 retail store closures, in part due to a rise in e-commerce shoppers.

While retail is the hardest hit on the teen job front, the total number of teens with summer jobs has also been on the decline.

“Despite some recovery since the end of the Great Recession, about a third of teens (35%) had a job last summer,” according to a Pew study, published in July which examines the sectors that teenagers, aged 16 to 19, are employed in.

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As a result, teen unemployment sits at 13.1%, nearly three times higher than the national average of 3.9%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

For those teens who want to work, they’re gravitating towards the hospitality and food services industries where employment stands at 33.8%, increasing significantly from 22.6% in 2000. The arts and entertainment sector is also popular among youths and has seen a slight jump from 7.5% to 8.7%.

While sitting on the beach may sound like a better way to pass the summer break, working that summer job can pay off.  Teenagers with seasonal summer jobs are more likely to have a competitive advantage in their career, according to a study from UBC Sauder published in May 2018.

Teens who work are “developing early knowledge of the working world and how to manage it, they are more likely to find good employment and earn more money in the future,” the study notes.