The Associated Press published an article Friday explaining why they believe that, going into summer 2017, far less of America’s teenagers will work summer jobs like they used to.
But they get it all wrong…
First off, here are the reasons the Associated Press list:
Instead of baling hay, scooping ice cream or stocking supermarket shelves in July and August, today’s teens are more likely to be enrolled in summer school, doing volunteer work to burnish their college credentials or just hanging out with friends.
For many, not working is a choice. For some others, it reflects a lack of opportunities where they live, often in lower-income urban areas: They sometimes find that older workers hold the low-skill jobs that once would have been available to them.
In July 1986, 57 percent of Americans ages 16 to 19 were employed. The proportion stayed over 50 percent until 2002 when it began dropping steadily. By last July, only 36 percent were working.
Economists and labor market observers worry that falling teen employment will deprive them of valuable work experience and of opportunities to encounter people of different ethnic, social and cultural backgrounds.
But the longer-term trend for teen employment is down and likely to stay that way for several reasons:
– Teenagers and their parents are increasingly aware of the value of a college education. A result is that more kids are spending summers volunteering or studying, to prepare for college and compete for slots at competitive schools.
In July 1986, just 12 percent of Americans ages 16 to 19 were taking summer classes. Thirty years later, the share had risen to 42 percent.
“Parental emphasis on the rewards of education has contributed to the decline in teen labor force participation,” Teresa Morisi, a Labor Department economist, concluded in a February report on teen employment, which has been declining in the United States and other wealthy countries.
While it is most definitely true that less teenagers will have summer jobs and the reasons AP gives to explain this phenomenon are somewhat valid — summers will instead be spent with family and friends, doing volunteer work, studying and preparing for college — what they get wrong is that the primary driver of this trend is high minimum wage.
Employers won’t hire untrained teenagers when they can get adults with work experience at the same wage. It’s simply not affordable for most companies. But of course AP can’t admit that, or else they would blow their own left wing narrative.
Children may be spending their summers in other ways besides working and earning money, but that’s because they don’t have much of a choice. Jobs are not in surplus anymore because whiny liberals demanded $15 minimum wage until their lungs gave out and the states caved and raised the minimum wage to dollar amounts that simply are not feasible for businesses.
Although AP failed to mention anything about minimum wage, they did admit that employers have been opting to hire older workers instead of the school-aged teens, but they gave their own explanation to why that is now so often the case:
Many employers view older workers as more reliable – more likely to show up on time, or at all, and to better know how to handle customers, co-workers and suppliers.
-Many school districts have lengthened their academic years to try to boost student achievement, in the process shrinking summer vacation and the chance for teens to find work even if they want to. School years now often don’t end well into June and resume before Labor Day.
“With a shorter summer off from school, students may be less inclined to get a summer job, and employers may be less inclined to hire them,” Morisi writes.
The picture varies, of course, across demographic and racial lines. In poor urban neighborhoods, teens who want work struggle to find it. The summer jobs they used to get – scarce in the best of times – now often go to adults.
In wealthier areas, teens are more likely to be attending summer school, doing volunteer work, traveling with their families or pursuing sports or other extracurriculars.
Last but not least, AP fails to admit and accept the real reason why, even when businesses are looking for teens to work all summer long, their offers are often rejected. Here is the AP claim:
In Loudoun County, Virginia, an affluent suburb of Washington, many businesses say they struggle to find teens willing and able to work summers.
“They’re busy,” says Tyler Wegmeyer, who raises fruits and vegetables and runs a pick-your-own farm in the Loudoun town of Hamilton. “They’ve got activities. They’ve got camps. Their families go on vacation. It’s very rare I can get a kid to work all summer long.”
However, the probable reason why teens don’t want the summer job options that are available is that they just don’t feel like working after spending the rest of their youthful years studying — especially not for a wage that millennials have indoctrinated the minds of the newest Generation Z to believe is never good enough, never what they “deserve” to be paid.
The minimum wage will continue to rise higher and higher at the demands of the lazy and pitiful, while putting companies out of business but never satisfying those who never wanted to put in the work in the first place and raise themselves through the ranks with time, patience, and hard work — just as every generation before has had to do.