The scarcity of jobs for teens comes at a time when many are starting to search for summer jobs. In 2009, as part of the Obama stimulus program, Congress set aside $1.2 billion for youth activities, including summer jobs. But that money is now gone.
As a result, even jobs such as working as a lifeguard are expected to be in shorter supply. For example, New York City will create 23,000 summer jobs, down from 52,000 two years ago.
Many mayors are scrambling to raise money from the private sector to fund summer jobs. In Louisville, Ky., Mayor Greg Fischer has collected $420,000 in pledges – enough money to provide summer jobs for a couple hundred kids, says Michael Gritton, executive director of KentuckianaWorks, a workforce development agency.
Using money from the US Department of Labor (DOL), Louisville also runs a KentuckianaWorks Youth Career Center, which assists teens in finding more-permanent jobs. At the center, counselors help with such skills as building a résumé, setting goals, and performing well in an interview.