What Summer Break?

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Last year, 22.4 million teenagers and young adults traded in their report cards for time cards and worked during the month of July, the traditional summertime peak for youth employment. That's 2.2 million additional 16- to 24-year-old workers than were employed during the month of April, when school is still in full swing. In fact, by midsummer 2000, 65 percent of teens and young adults were gainfully employed and another 7 percent were job-hunting, for a combined rate of 72 percent of youths in the labor force. Compare that to three months earlier, when only 59 percent were either employed or looking for jobs. But working during the summer doesn't mean these young adults have to forgo tanning opportunities. Amusement and theme parks average 100 full-time employees, but at peak season average 665 workers per site, according to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. With 450 sites to choose from, that's a lot of parks to clean, children to find, and ice cream sandwiches to sell.

BIG SPENDERS

Top weekly salaries for second-year law students working as summer associates:

CITY WEEKLY

SALARY
Wash., D.C. $2,812
New York $2,604
Los Angeles $2,404
Chicago $2,404
Atlanta $2,000
Houston $1,750
Hartford $1,635
Phoenix $1,550
Birmingham $1,200
Source: Findlaw.com, 1999

Show Me the Money

Most of today's college seniors want to make money fast.

WHICH DO YOU THINK YOU ARE LIKELY TO DO UPON GRADUATING FROM COLLEGE?

• Enter the work force 60%
• Continue education 34%
• Take some time off to travel or relax 14%
• Marry/start family 5%
Source: Harris Interactive/Northwestern Mutual “Generation 2001� Study

I'm Just a Temp

Average number of people who were temps during summer, July through September:

YEAR MILLIONS
• 1996 2.1
• 1997 2.4
• 1998 2.4
• 1999 2.5
• 2000 2.6
Source: American Staffing Association, Quarterly Staffing Industry Survey, 2001

Please Call My Mom

Most common injuries suffered on the job by kids under 18:

• Sprains and strains 33%
• Bruises and contusions 14%
• Cuts and lacerations 13%
• Heat burns 9%
• Fractures 8%
• Other 23%
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1999

Taking a Cue

Kids from higher-income families are more likely to work.

FAMILY INCOME 15- TO 17-YEAR-OLDS EMPLOYED
• Less than $27,300 15.0%
• $27,300-$50,999 22.1%
• $51,000-$79,999 29.5%
• More than $79,999 29.5%
Source: Current Population Survey, March 1999

GOOD OLD DAYS

Surprisingly, kids' median wages were higher 20 years ago — after adjusting for inflation.

CONSTANT 1998 DOLLARS PER HOUR

1979 1989 1998
All 15- to 17-year-olds $6.21 $4.96 $5.57
Male $6.33 $5.09 $5.60
Female $6.07 $4.83 $5.54
White $6.20 $4.96 $5.57
Black $6.24 $4.81 $5.47
Hispanic $6.30 $5.24 $5.59
Source: Current Population Survey

WHISTLE WHILE YOU WORK

  • At SeaWorld Orlando, the staff swells by 800 people during the summer, up 35 percent from 2,300 off-peak.
  • Part-time summer staff pay for food service, merchandise, and operations runs $6.65/hour.
  • During peak season, the number of employees at 39 Six Flags sites inflates by almost 14 times to 44,000, up from 3,000 off-peak.
  • Test preparation center, Kaplan Inc. hires 1,000 more teachers during the summer, an increase of one-third over the school year.

Source: SeaWorld Orlando, Six Flags Inc., Kaplan Inc.

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