June 2019 FLATTMANN FILES “Quality Is No Accident”
HELP WANTED: WHY ARE FEWER TEENS WORKING OVER THE SUMMER? And Should Your Teen Work?
FROM THE DESK OF Grady Flattmann
Have you ever been driving along when suddenly the car in front of you comes to a complete stop to let someone else turn in front of them? Or maybe you’ve witnessed someone wave at another driver, signaling that it was okay for them to pull out across both lanes of traffic, only to get nailed by an 18-wheeler coming the other way? These are examples of well-intentioned people creating dangerous situations. The second example even has a name: “waving accidents.” And guess what? In some instances, the “waver” (pretty sure that is a word) may be open to liability for causing the wreck. Yikes! Being courteous is a great virtue to have. But traffic control is best left up to traffic lights, stop signs, and crossing guards (this last one is still open to debate). The best way to keep the roads safe is looking after your own driving habits, like avoiding distractions while driving. So, please be courteous to one another and don’t stop helping little old ladies cross the street (assuming, of course, the use of a well- marked crosswalk ... joking).
When economic pundits talk about unemployment rates and the market, the teenage workforce is hardly the first thing to come to mind. But if you follow the trend of teen summertime employment, you will notice an interesting phenomenon. According to research by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, fewer teens have been working during the summer. Even as overall unemployment rates continue to drop, just 43 percent of teens worked during the summer of 2017, which is a 30 percent decrease from 1978. Experts cite a few sources for this trend. For starters, the number of teens in the workforce is only counted with traceable data. This means some teens are working in fields research agencies cannot track, such as babysitting, working in the family business, or doing yardwork for neighbors.
But teen employment rates are likely the result of two specific socioeconomic changes.
BABY BOOMERS IN THE WORKFORCE
Between 1977 and 2007, the number of adults aged 65 and older in the workforce increased by more than 100 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Women contributed to a larger jump than men, increasing their working status at age 65 and older by 147 percent, while women aged 75 and older in the workforce jumped 172 percent.
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