Submitted by Minnie Knych
Employment statistics show that fewer teens are spending summers waiting tables, swinging hammers or mowing lawns. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that teen labor force participation overall has been on a long-term downward trend, and the decline is expected to continue. Reasons are varied; teens today spend more time in sports and summer camp activities, travel and visiting with friends.
Forty years ago, nearly 58 percent of teens were working or looking for a job. In 2006, the rate was 44 percent. According to a 2018 study, researchers at the Drexel University Center for Labor Markets and Policy expect that only around 30 percent of all teens will have a summer job in 2019.
Teenagers are very lucky to live in San Juan County. Our seasonal economy offers an opportunity for summer jobs. If you are 16 years or older; before you decide that summer work is not for you, consider the benefits of getting a summer job.
Working can provide an opportunity to explore careers, learn time management and practice money management skills. It is also an opportunity to sharpen job search and interview skills. More and more colleges require a resume and letters of recommendation for admission these days. A letter of recommendation from a former employer is impressive and can show that you have initiative, can manage time and money and you are a responsible person. If you land a summer job, you might discover a career choice that you had not considered. A summer job is a great chance to see the job close-up and see if it fits you.
Consider this, being a teenager is expensive nowadays. Electronics, clothes, even a car and insurance can all add up to huge bills. Some families can’t afford all of these things.
If you want to explore your job opportunities, mark your calendar for Sunday, April 14. Come to the job fair at the Mullis Community Center. Local employers will be there from 1–4 p.m. and want to discuss job opportunities with you. The job fair is sponsored by the Career Center and Skagit Valley College. Call 360 378-4662 for more information.