Adults, Not Games Causing Decline in Teen Employment

October 19, 2011 -

The bad economic climate in America has produced the lowest level of teen employment ever, and while some would be keen to blame distraction like video games as the cause, the truth is those jobs teens used to get are being taken by adults trying to make ends meet. A recent analysis from Federal Reserve found that, while kids are spending more time on college prep and summer classes, increasing competition from adults taking the low-paying jobs that teenagers used to do is becoming a common occurrence.

Since 2007, the employment-to-population ratio for 16 - 17-year-olds fell from 23 percent to 15 percent. The youth employment rate has fallen during every recession since the 1980s. Federal Reserve economist Christopher L. Smith wrote in a paper released last week that adults are taking teen jobs in industries like retail food service.

"Much of the crowd-out from adults is likely due to polarization of the adult labor market, driven by the declining costs of computerization and automation which have displaced some less-educated adult workers into service sector jobs that teens tend to do," Smith wrote.

The number of adults in teen jobs rose by 5 million from 1995 to 2010. If not for this trend, the teenage employment-to-population ratio could have been up to 5 percent higher in 2010.

But what's most interesting to us is Smith's analysis of video game usage and what effect it may be having on activities such as working at a part-time job. Using numbers from the American Time Use Survey, he noted that "[t]he average amount of time spent playing games is no more than an hour and has increased only modestly since 2003."

Smith also examined the life cycle of video game systems, noting that sales increase once a new system has been available for a while, its price has gone down and its games gotten better. From 2005 to 2006, time spent playing games decreased as game companies rolled out the Microsoft Xbox 360, the Nintendo Wii and the Sony PlayStation 3.

"Although this pattern is suggestive evidence that the availability of videogames itself can influence time usage, the difference in videogame usage between employed and not employed males is too small to account for the difference in time spent on work-related activities," Smith concluded. "For instance, for 15-17 year old males, the non-employed play about 25 more minutes of games per school day than the employed, about 30 percent of the difference in time spent on work-related activities."

The unemployment rate for 16 - 17-year-olds is right around 30 percent, compared to 9.1 percent for the population as a whole.

 

Source: Huffington Post

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Comments

Re: Adults, Not Games Causing Decline in Teen Employment

While I'm finding some articles from other states talking about the high pay for farm workers as well as news of a senator from Washington saying this to Congress, what I'm finding coming from Washington itself is much the opposite, farm workers are being paid even less than previous years, to the point that over the last three months, several growers (including the state's two largest apple producers, which are the ones supposedly paying big money) have actually been sanctioned by state and federal authorities for paying so little that it violates labor laws.

Re: Adults, Not Games Causing Decline in Teen Employment

2 things. i could've told you that adults were taking more jobs than the kids just by walking into nearly ANY food service joint lately.

seriously, go to one, theres so many OLD people in them these days...

second.. theres also this bogus belief among many of the older generation of people that all technology = games.

i'll be reading a book on my IPad (beats carrying around a 3 inch thick book, and it has more than one available) during lunch and constantly be accused of playing games. I'll check my e-mail on my phone during a break and same, and because i own an IPhone, and IPad, as well as i'm tech savvy, this automatically means i do nothing but game at home 100% of the time while my house goes to waste around me, and my land grows over.

tbh its a sickening stereotype that peeves me to no end, cause its caused a LOT of issues at work where i'll be busting my ace all day and get told by the one guy who hasn't done diddly all along that i was somehow playing games all day while he sat on his damned cell phone. Thus putting me in the spotlight because his old arse has been there longer, and i get complaints from the supervisor that claims to know whats going on (how could he? he spends 2/3 of his time with his GF at the corporate office, i know cause my father works over there, and the rest at our office pi**ing off the mechanic and supply guys while we're in the field)

theres more of course, but this isn't the place. in the end the point merely is, technology = games no matter what, and tech savvy = does nothing but sit around gaming all day.

i highly doubt i'd have survived my time in the military with a spotless record if this were true of me though.

 

 

Edit: what does the second have to do with old farts and taking jobs? I probably should've clarified, but i had to cut myself short before i ranted on.

simply put, the younger generation is hooked on tech and uses it, thus its a burden that makes the assumption that most people below 30 or so do nothing but play games on their "ipods" (yes, i said ipods... i was constantly told i had this device and i played games on it. i've NEVER owned an ipod however.. not in the physical sense, the digital representation in my phone and pad maybe)

but thats my experiences, anyone else?

Re: Adults, Not Games Causing Decline in Teen Employment

I was reading the other day that, because of all this E-verify and whatnot, farmers in the state aren't able to get enough people to pick their produce, and it's rotting on the vine.  Even when they are offering $120-150 per day to try to entice more pickers.  With unemployment as high as it is, there are plenty of people who could use that money, but nobody is going for it.  I wonder if they consider that work beneath them, or what?  But people apparently don't feel that way about teen jobs.  I guess that suggests a certain prejudice at work.

Re: Adults, Not Games Causing Decline in Teen Employment

agreed with the other one, where is this?

last i checked farmers were still paying  bare minimum and no O/T benefits

Re: Adults, Not Games Causing Decline in Teen Employment

Washington state.

Re: Adults, Not Games Causing Decline in Teen Employment

i knew i should've stayed there instead of moving back to NY after my Military time ended... dangit..

 

Re: Adults, Not Games Causing Decline in Teen Employment

$120-$150?  Where is this?  I could use a weekend job.

 
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