Fewer American high school students are working summer jobs and part-time jobs than a decade ago, and that will likely mean lower wage-earning capacity in their futures, research indicates. In 2000, about 34 percent of high school students age 16 and older held jobs, but that share had fallen to 18 percent by 2012, data from the National Center for Education Statistics indicate.
In 2013, 21 percent of high school students either had a job or were looking for one, and of that portion of students, 21 percent were unemployed, federal data show, compared to an overall unemployment rate of 7.2 percent for Americans at least 16 years of age.
“The labor market has yet to really recover,” said Catherine Ruetschlin, senior policy analyst at liberal research organization Demos. “A high schooler with no work experience may be competing with someone who’s worked in retail for 10 years, and that hasn’t always been the case.”