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CON: Teens should focus on studying, being young

By Jennifer Lee Preyss
June 16, 2013 at 1:16 a.m.
Updated June 17, 2013 at 1:17 a.m.


Harley Davis, 16, an Industrial High School student, was not expecting the job market to be so tough this summer.

The unemployed Lolita teen said she attempted weeks ago to line up summer employment, but many places weren't calling her back.

"I wanted to work, so I would have money to go do things," the rising junior said.

She decided instead to accept babysitting jobs as they become available.

"Whenever I go places, my mom always gives me money in case of emergencies, but if I want a new pair of shoes or something, she's not always going to buy them for me," she said.

Harley isn't the only Crossroads teen choosing not to work this summer.

Alyssa Figueroa, 18, an incoming senior at Victoria East, said she doesn't feel as if she should work while she's in school.

"I feel like a job interferes with school, and if they can't juggle both, then we should not work," Figueroa said. "We need to be studying more rather than having jobs."

For the past two years, teen unemployment has more than tripled the national 7.6 percent unemployment rate.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the unemployment rate for teenagers between 16 and 19 years old was 24.5 percent last month.

Jobless teens have typically held high higher rates of unemployment than the national average, but they are higher this year than ever before.

For her part, Harley said, she enjoys being young and feels like now is the time for teenagers to have fun without much responsibility.

"Teenagers should be able to live their lives without a lot of work," she said. "We should be able to get money babysitting or taking care of someone's animals but not have too many things to do, so we can go have fun."

PRO: Summer jobs teach responsibility, goals

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