Teen Unemployment On the Rise Here

By Corey Fry –

The current drop in the job market isn’t only affecting the adult world.  Teens are feeling the recession too.

The US Department of Labor reported an unemployment rate of 24 percent for people aged 16-19.  This is the third consecutive year that teen unemployment was over 20 percent.

Even in Penn Manor one can see the effects of a weak job market.

Dozens of students struggle on a daily basis to find employment and with so few jobs available, students can’t afford to be particular.

“I’ve applied everywhere, but they just never call back,” said Matt Libonati a Penn Manor junior who said he tried to find a job at two dozen places including Dunkin’ Donuts, Dollar General, Cherry Hill, Turkey Hill, Country Dairies, Scheids, Walgreens and his list goes on and on.

Ian Tahmasbi, a junior, is also having a difficult time landing part-time work.

Teens from Penn Manor have submitted dozens of applications without much success -graphic courtesy of CPACareerCoach.com

“I apply at places and I know they won’t give me the job,” said Tahmasbi.

Why exactly is it so hard for students to find a job?  Some common reasons students report:

First of all, students’ time is limited especially when they are involved in extracurricular activities.

“Asking for hours is difficult,” said Steve Long, a Penn Manor junior.

Teens are feeling just as much pressure to find employment despite the economy because parents still want them to foot the bill for gas, insurance and more, students say.

“Everyone I know has jobs,” said Tahmasbi, who does not get an allowance.  “But no one will hire me.”

Trent Sheaffer is a Penn Manor student who is just dipping his toe in the job market but has had no luck yet.

“I mowed lawns during the summer for my neighbors and now I’m trying to get a real job,” said Sheaffer who estimates he has been looking for about one month.

Most teens who were interviewed say they just drop off applications at places of business without first checking out if they are hiring.

Tahmasbi thinks he applied to at least ten places.

“Being unable to support myself is the worst feeling,” he said.

Regardless of whether the economy is what’s causing the trouble, or if students simply aren’t applying at the right places, many will continue to go jobless.

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