Teens may get help with summer jobs

Teen at work

TEXT OF STORY

Bob Moon: Congress is considering a bill that would pump a billion dollars into summer jobs programs for teens. The plan could boost the employment prospects for youths in New York, which has the lowest level of teen employment of any major U.S. city. Ashley Milne-Tyte has more.


Ashley Milne-Tyte: New York City runs a summer youth employment program placing teens at non-profits and city agencies. But last year, the program had twice as many applicants as jobs. This year, it's facing budget cuts. City Councilman Lew Fidler says such programs don't just help teenagers but the economy, too.

Lew Fidler: This isn't money that kids are taking and saying, "You know what, let me save this for my retirement." It gets spent right away with local merchants for local goods and services.

But why can't New York teens just get a job with those merchants instead? Joe McLaughlin is with Northeastern's Center for Labor Market Studies. He says competition for those jobs is fierce.

Joe McLaughlin: Employers are able to fill a large number of their entry-level jobs with immigrant labor. And in a sense, they kind of become the preferred source of employees, because you don't have to worry about just training someone for the summer months.

McLaughlin says youth who do land work as teenagers go on to earn much more in their 20s than those who are new to the job market.

I'm Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.

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