Ouch: Teen employment still lingering around record lows

Traditionally, summers off from high school or college are usually a great time for teenagers to find a seasonal or often part-time job to help them start building vital professional building blocks they’ll need as they progress throughout their careers, as well as to save up some cash to help them pay their way through the school year. The economic stagnation of the last few years, however, has taken a particularly damaging toll on young people, with youth unemployment far and away above the national average. McClatchy reports on a particularly discouraging facet of the trend:

For the fourth consecutive summer, teen employment has stayed anchored around record lows, prompting experts to fear that a generation of youth is likely to be economically stunted with lower earnings and opportunities in years ahead.

The trend is all the more striking given that the overall unemployment rate has steadily dropped, to 7.4 percent in August. And employers in recent months have been collectively adding almost 200,000 new jobs a month. It led to hopes that this would be the summer when teen employment improved.

In 1999, slightly more than 52 percent of teens 16 to 19 worked a summer job. By this year, that number had plunged to about 32.25 percent over June and July. It means that slightly more than three in 10 teens actually worked a summer job, out of a universe of roughly 16.8 million U.S. teens.

And obviously, it definitely isn’t just teenagers feeling the slowdown; take a look at this devastating segment from Fox News on Thursday night:

The cherry on top of this disaster sundae, of course, is that Obama administration is relying on young people to pay disproportionately into ObamaCare to cover the costs of older and sicker participants — which is going to be kind of tough when they can’t even find a job. I would also merely like to point out that if Democrats continue on their minimum-wage crusade successfully, entry-level jobs for young people will become still more difficult to come by than they already are.

Update: Fixed the headline for accuracy.

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