Most people remember their first summer or after-school job, which provided cash to help pay for college or a car.
Today, vehicles and higher education — among other expenses — cost significantly more. Yet fewer teenagers are working.
The share of teens participating in the labor force peaked 40 years ago and has declined ever since. In 1979, nearly 60% of American teenagers were employed, an all-time high. Today, just over one-third, or 35%, of teens between the ages of 16 and 19 are part of the workforce.
Teens are less likely to work part-time while in school and also less likely to work over the summer, according to a study by the Hamilton Project and Brookings Institution.
“High school has become more intense,” said Lauren Bauer, a co-author of the study