KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – While landing a summer job as a teenager may seem like a rite of passage, new statistics show the number of teens getting jobs is dwindling.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the teen labor work force has decreased 34 percent in the last couple of decades.
But not all teens are trading a busy restaurant for more free time.
14-year-old Jada Jones said working on her future is more important.
“This is supposed to be my year to come back, so I’m trying to do everything I can that will benefit me in the future,” said Jones.
She is starting with an internship with Kinston Teens.
“This internship is going to help keep me out of trouble, give me something to do and get me those connections, said Jones.
“We have some life skill programs coming up,” said Kinston Teens CEO Chris Suggs. “They’ll be working with different city and community leaders on some initiatives.”
Suggs, who is 17, said he understands why teens opt for an internship as an alternative.
“We want our futures to be bright,” said Suggs. “We want to have access to good jobs, be able to have good things on our resume and our college applications.”
Jones said being behind a desk this summer can be just as beneficial as being behind a counter.
“Aside from all the negatives, we can make this shine as a positive,” she said.
According to another study, teens may miss out on summer jobs because unemployed adults are grabbing them first.