Teenagers face high unemployment rates while looking for jobs

Elsy Barcelo

Being independent in terms of money is difficult for teens. Finding jobs and managing time makes it even harder for teens to earn money.

Teens who do have jobs during high school are usually hired by family or friends or end up in low-paying jobs like selling advertisements for a company that pays based on your sales.

“I got a job as a busboy at an Italian restaurant last summer where my dad works after he recommended me to his employee and I started working the next day,” junior Morgan Marin said.

Unfortunately, many teens aren’t getting jobs, let alone learning skills. Companies aren’t to blame for not hiring teens, but the student. It is much more simple than one thinks when it comes to finding the job and then applying for it.

The first step is for a student to go to their school counselor and ask if there are any internships to apply for and minimum- wage job applications. Volunteering is another option.

“We (Opportunity Nation) encourage high schools to offer internships and apprenticeships to students, often for credit, so students can gain valuable skills and experience,” said Jennifer Jordan, senior writer for Boston-based Opportunity Nation, in an email interview. “I’d also encourage youth to volunteer for a cause and organization they believe in as volunteering can often be a great way to gain experience and make connections that can lead to a paying job.”

Jobs for teens are not only meant for money, but also to enhance their skills, time management and how to handle responsibilities. Depending on the individual’s job, for example, an internship can help them obtain skills to enrich their education in college and make choices on their major.

Teens have limited options for work, including mowing lawns, raking leaves and baby sitting. The luckier teens get minimum wage jobs at fast-food restaurants, sit-down restaurants or in retail stores. However, almost any job is worth it to a teen, especially if they’re getting paid.

“Teens gain confidence, job skills and professional connections and networks that can lead to other jobs when they work,” Jordan said.

In California alone, 34.6 percent of people between the ages of 16 to 24 were unemployed in 2012. In Los Angeles however, nearly 15 percent of young adults between the ages of 16-24 are either not in school or not working, according to Opportunity Nation, a non-profit organization.

Due to the lack of a job experience, it puts people in the 16-24 age group in risk of a low-wage job in the future.

For the year of 2013, youth groups such as “In This Together” and other youth groups became more involved in working to help teens find jobs.

Even with the help of youth groups and school counselors, several teens choose not to work for many reasons, ranging from school and sports to taking care of family. The same reasons can be used for companies who hire people with experience over high school and college students.

“I’m glad I got this job. It’s long hours but I help out my dad, get some money for myself and meet new people every day,” Marin said.