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Teens have tough time finding summer jobs

Slinging coffee is one option for teens looking for work
Creative Commons/capl@washjeff.edu
Slinging coffee is one option for teens looking for work

The summertime blues have arrived for thousands of Michigan teenagers, who face a tough job market this year. That’s despite some improvement from last year.

Teens face a 30% unemployment rate this summer. That’s a 4 percentage point drop from 2010. A spokesman with the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget says much of the improvement is because fewer teens are trying to find work this summer.

An informal survey on the Michigan Radio Facebook page revealed that many of listeners were able to find summer employment when they were teenagers. Waiting tables, slinging burgers, and saving lives (aka life-guarding) were popular options.

But a listener named Pete says the summer job he did as a teenager is now extinct. That job? Pumping gas at a service station.


Kyle Norris is from Michigan and spent ten years as a host and reporter with Michigan Radio, the state’s largest NPR-affiliate. He lives in Seattle and works as a substitute host and producer at KNKX.
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