Teen unemployment rates reflect the state of the economy

The late 2000’s economic depression has been called by many economists the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930’s. It resulted in many American citizens losing their homes, life savings, and jobs. The 2011 unemployment rate in Utah is 7.0 percent. In 2007, one year before what most people consider the beginning of the economic crisis, the unemployment rate was at a record low at a measly 2.5 percent. The economic depression hasn’t only affected those old enough to have a career; it’s also affecting many teens.

“[Unemployed adults] are taking all the jobs that teenagers normally get. There’s less money and nobody wants to do them, but now they don’t have a job so they’re desperate to get something. So the teen jobs are taken,” said junior Spencer Morley.

 Many teens that are determined to get jobs have to work very hard to get them.

“Most of the jobs that are available [for teenagers] are taken by the people that are super diligent [in applying, checking in with the application, etc.],” said Morley.

There isn’t, however, a large amount of jobs available to those under the age of 18.

“We have to keep in mind what their skill level is that allows them to work. They can be fast food servers, they can be minimum wage persons, and they can get a job at that new place in Farmington, just a minimal amount of work, and some of them, because of their socio-economic status and their expectation, are not willing to compromise their efforts for the amount of money they can earn,” said faculty member Mrs. Coburn.

Some teenagers are unwilling to do the jobs that are available because they aren’t as cool or fun as they would want them to be.

“Give them some skills, give them some practice, be willing to do things that they think are below their ‘status’. Because for the most part, no one is going to hire them to be their accountant or to take care of their medical needs,” said Coburn.