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Teenagers Spurn Working As School In U.s. Takes Priority

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http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-19/teenagers-spurn-working-as-school-in-u-s-takes-priority.html

Akil Alvin, 19 and from Detroit, is struggling to land a job as he competes with older, more skilled applicants. Alex Lothspeich, 17 and from Charlotte, North Carolina, is choosing not to enter the workforce to focus on high school.

Both illustrate changes sweeping the teen labor force. Young Americans such as Alvin who want to work can’t find jobs as unemployment among 16-to-19-year-olds stands at more than three times the rate for all workers. At the same time, more teens are taking Lothspeich’s tack, forsaking paid positions to concentrate on getting into college.

Just one in three teens in the U.S. worked or looked for a job in January, a record-low since 1948 when the Labor Department data starts. That lack of on-the-job experience could cost future workers, who may lag behind on basic skills their parents developed waiting tables or running registers, some economists say.

Luckily the very workers being forced out of work are those very same workers who will be picking up the tab in future.

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