Blogs » Business Notebook » Economic woes: Now available in teen size!



It's no secret the United States' economy is in the grips of a downturn. While reports continually assure us that things are, in fact, turning around, times are still tough for many out there.

But it isn't just the adults scrimping where they can, making sacrifices here and there and shopping smarter.

Nope. Their kids feel the impact, too.

Teen unemployment was up this summer, according to a Huff Post business article.

The article, which quoted Bureau of Labor Statistics data, said just 48.8 percent of young people were employed this July, a peak time for summer employment. That's the lowest amount since the bureau began reporting info in 1948.

It goes on to say that some of that decrease can be attributed to those who either went on to school or quit the job search altogether. Of course, with higher-than-usual unemployment for big people, too, it also means others are filling the available slots.

"When there's an absence of a supply of jobs, employers are able to bid up," labor economist Carl E. Van Horn said in the article. "When someone steps up with a bachelor's degree to get a job that used to be held by a high school student, that [student] gets pushed out of the labor market."

The shift doesn't only affect the younger generation, either. In that ever-so-common domino effect, retailers who stock teen items also find themselves scrambling to meet young people's shrinking wallets.

An Associated Press article reports that several heavy-hitting teen brands saw declines in recent quarters. In response, they began lowering prices and introducing new looks to the showroom to compete with other chains.

While the strategy has worked for Abercrombie & Fitch and American Eagle, the article reports Aeropostale is still striving to right its miscalculations.

My favorite quote from the article comes from apparel industry consultant Michael Appel: "The teen consumer has always been a fickle consumer and if you're not on trend, you're going to be punished. A lot of teens have all the loyalty of a flea."