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4 ways summer jobs have changed over the years


Your grandparents probably told you a thousand stories about working at drive-ins and lifeguarding at the city pool during their summers off from school.

Your parents likely worked for extra cash over breaks, too. But if you’re a young person today, that might not be the case.

Pew Research Center revealed last year that the number of teens upholding the all-American tradition of getting a summer job has been steadily declining for the past two decades. Even the minority of millennials who did spend their summer holidays punching the clock have had very different roles than their parents — and their parents — did during the 20th century.

Based on employment-population ratios from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average number of 16- to 19-year-olds who were employed over the summer historically lingered around 50%, rarely dipping below that mark before the millennium.

But that number hit its lowest point of 30% in 2008, amidst the Great Recession, and has only slightly begun to increase since then, the Pew study showed.

Still, though, only about a third of teens take up summer jobs nowadays.

And there are several reasons for that change. Here are four of the biggest ways summer jobs have changed over the years.


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