Friday’s jobs report demonstrated again that the U.S. economy is stuck in a sluggish purgatory. Worse still were the unemployment numbers for black teens, which came in at a mind blowing 41.6 percent. In July of last year, black teen unemployment was considerably lower, coming in at 36 percent. In March, the teen unemployment rate was 33 percent.
This means that the opportunity you had as a teen, to find work to help pay for college or learn new skills, isn’t available to a large swath of black teens. Nearly half of teens who want to work can’t find a job.
One of the reasons teens are having a hard time finding work probably has a lot to do with the “graying” of the fast food industry. Over a third of fast food workers have at least some college and, as NBC reported in April, the average fast food worker is getting older.
From NBC article, In Tough Economy, Fast Food Workers Grow Old:
Due to the lingering effects of the Great Recession, the Hollywood image of the care-free, freckle-faced, teenage hamburger flipper is no longer the norm. Only 16 percent of fast food industry jobs now go to teens, down from 25 percent a decade ago.
And many of the older workers are educated. More than 42 percent of restaurant and fast-food employees over the age of 25 have at least some college education, including 753,000 with a bachelor’s degree or higher, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
As a testament to their resiliency, these teens haven’t left the job market. They’re still looking for work.