Chart of the Week: Summer Jobs

Apr 16, 2019
Chart of the Week, Employment, Career


  • What pattern do you see in this line graph? 
  • Between what decade do you see the most significant drop in summer employment for 16-19 year olds? 
  • How does summer employment in the 1970s and 1980s compare with 2017?
  • Why do you think there has been such a sharp drop in summer employment for 16-19 year olds? 

Behind the graph (Pew

The decline of summer jobs is a specific instance of the longer-term decline in overall youth employment, a trend that’s also been observed in other advanced economies.

Researchers have suggested multiple reasons why fewer young people are working: fewer low-skill, entry-level jobs (such as sales clerks or office assistants) than in decades past; more schools ending in late June and restarting before Labor Day; more students enrolled in high school or college over the summer; more teens doing unpaid community service work as part of their graduation requirements or to burnish their college applications; and more students taking unpaid internships, which the Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t count as being employed.


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About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.