Whereas just twenty years ago holding a part-time job while in full-time education was considered a rite of passage among teenagers in the United States, youth nowadays are much less likely to be employed while attending school. Is the drop in school-year employment among US teenagers, especially in the aftermath of the Great Recession, a cause for concern? In this chapter, we use data from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 to assess whether work experiences during the school year adversely affect early educational and socioeconomic outcomes such as test scores, time spent on homework and extracurricular activities, career aspirations, and educational expectations. Results confirm a sharp decline in teenage employment during the school year, as only 46 percent of youth had worked by the spring of the 11th grade. Among working teenagers, those who averaged intensive hours during the school year (i.e., more than twenty hours per week; about 11 percent of youth) had significantly lower test scores and educational expectations compared to their nonworking counterparts. However, youth who worked moderately showed no significant declines in socioeconomic achievement and in fact were more likely to participate in extracurricular activities and spend more time doing homework than their nonworking peers. Furthermore, teens who worked intensively were less likely than nonworking youth to be uncertain about their future career plans. These positive effects of work will be lost if teenage employment in the USA continues to disappear.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Young People's Development and the Great Recession|
|Subtitle of host publication||Uncertain Transitions and Precarious Futures|
|Publisher||Cambridge University Press|
|Number of pages||23|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2017|
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