Comments about ‘Teens struggle to squeeze into the job market’

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Published: Friday, March 14 2014 6:15 p.m. MDT

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Kind of blows a hole in the theory that teenagers are the only ones making minimum wage and therefore no change is necessary.

Forest Grove, OR

But the "job creators" are creating all these jobs for everyone, just ask the 1% -- we should be grateful. We should be worshiping the 1%, as they are so benevolent (or is it condescending?) to the rest of us.

American Fork, UT

It's a tough job market, but don't be so hasty to discount lazy.

Salt Lake City, UT

To "jrgl" of Cedar City, who suggests this story somehow, "blows a hole in the theory that teenagers are the only ones making minimum wage and therefore no change is necessary". I've never heard or seen anyone actually theorize that, "teenagers are the only ones making minimum wage", you have managed to have a completely 180 degree out of phase interpretation of this information.

The fact that teenagers are having an ever more difficult time finding work actually confirms the worry that raising the minimum wage will put a consequently decreasing number of entry-level jobs into a pricing regime that **increases** competition for those jobs and place teenagers at an even greater disadvantage.

The biggest problem of not finding work is not simply the already substantial problem of not having an income, it is not gaining the experience of work that adds to one's skills and general ability to work.

My first formal job was as a janitor's assistant at an elementary school. I was 13 and earned the princely wage of $1.25/hr. Not surprisingly, what I learned about being reliable and working hard was worth far more to me in the long run than the money.

Buena Vista, VA

jrgl: I'm not sure where in the article it discusses the minimum wage, and how many teens vs. adults earn it. But speaking of the minimum wage, if there could be a lower minimum wage for teens, a lot more of them would get jobs. Then they'd have experience, and then they could get a raise or get a new job with a higher wage.


Nosea, my experiences is that it's not the 1% at the top that are condescending, but some within the 99% like yourself. As I'm typing on my computer (developed by some in the 1%) using software (developed by others in the 1%) I for one am grateful that we have smart, entrepreneurial people in this nation. I'm not in the 1%, but if I were I would do a lot of social good like many in the 1% do.

Kearns, UT

I think there is a problem with the over all premise of this article.

I have three children who are in the job market- all three have jobs. Even the youngest, at 16, is working 25 hours a week. I'm not discounting that the job market is tougher than it was when I was their age, but I think kids are pickier these days about what they are willing to do (just like some adults). I've heard some kids whine about taking "dirty" jobs (fast food, janitorial, etc.).

Pointing out Provo as an example of the highest teen unemployment in the nation is fundamentally flawed. Provo (let's be real here) is not a huge city. It is also dominated by two very large universities (yes, technically UVU is in Orem). Between those two schools, you have over 65,000 college students many of whom also need jobs. As an employer, I'd be more likely to hire a college student over a high school student (maturity, experience, work history, etc.)

Centerville, UT

Younger teens who have never worked obviously don't have the experience as many adults. Giving employers a break from minimum wage and child labor laws could help employ more teens. But then you also have the insurance issue. They may be more likely to be injured on jobs with physical risks (e.g. construction) and their driving skills are not as well developed making them insurance risks.

Forest Grove, OR


I have worked at both Microsoft and Intel, designing both the hardware and the software of the computers you are so grateful for -- so thank you for your praise (and I am far from the 1%). I assure you the 1% has done very little in way of actually building these computers, by the way. The very fact that that the 1% take an increasing portion for themselves when so many more are thrown into poverty, and absolutely struggling to make it on the bottom (no jobs from the "job creators" remember), bespeaks loudly their callousness and, yes, utter contempt and condescension for the rest of us. Get a clue, please.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

Bottom line, the out-of-work financial planner needs that job flipping burgers and that's that.

Sunnyvale, CA

The job market has gone out of whack. I cannot find hardly any help for under $20/hr. People don't want to work for less than that--which means I cannot afford the help I need, and others don't earn what they need or want. Government assistance is typically easier for many than working (for less). If we raise the minimum wage, this will get worse.

Lindon, UT

Cincinnatus Sorry but I think you read the Provo stat wrong. The article says Provo has the highest "employment rate" meaning the most teens WITH jobs. Kind of changes your point, I believe. Personally, I've told my kids that if they are heavily involved in school activities which take up their spare time and teach good work habits, I'm okay with them not having a job during the school year. So far, the 2 that are now out of the house, have done well in college and are great workers with careers well on their way. Having a job as a teen is only one way to learn the right skills for a life-long career. Playing video games and surfing the net are not among them.

Midwest Mom
Soldiers Grove, WI

Well, 1 Reader, I guess it all depends on what kind of job you are asking people to do.

River Dog
Salt Lake City, UT

I don't see youngins' going around house-to-house looking for yardwork. When I was a kid, jobs were scarce, but I could always count on someone needing their lawn cut, edges trimmed and some needed weeding. Five bucks was five bucks and I was glad to get it!

Vince Ballard
South Ogden, UT

@ 1Reader: When I entered the work force in 1971, the minimum wage was $1.60 per hour and most men figuring to start a family felt they needed 2.50 per hour (with insurance)to make it. The cost of living has risen about eight times since then, at least for "big ticket" items. You do the math. I doubt that you realize how many working adults are receiving assistance payments, which amounts to more corporate welfare than otherwise. Also, if your employees have a tech school certificate or a bachelors degree they shouldn't accept less than $20 an hour. I'm glad people are waking up to this issue.



I have a clue, If it weren't for the 1%, you wouldn't even have a job to build computers..., so you're welcome.

It was the investment risk of the 1% who generated the jobs in the first place, and the 99% who risked nothing that complain that they don't get their "fair share".

If you don't like your lot in life, or feel that you are getting your fair share, then I would suggest putting your own investment out there, start your own company, and then divide your earnings equally amongst all your employees.

Salt Lake City, UT

Nosea......you sound ungrateful for the opportunity to be a part of two of the great success stories in corporate history.? Perhaps next time, you should go to the bank and risk losing everything you have in a make or break world and not take the easy way out in a 9-5.....that's how you become the exceptional 1%! And don't forget that once you arrive, you too will be now paying more than half of what you earned in taxes, while those who work for you pay little or none! Who will be complaining that you don't pay enough?

Spanish Fork, UT

If you go to the grocery store meat department and prime rib and hamburger are the same price, which will you choose? If an adult worker and a teenager both want the job to flip burgers at your restaurant, you'll hire the adult. Unless...there's an economic reason for choosing the younger guy. Minimum wage assures more meanial jobs for adults and fewer for teens. If the teen can offer his or her services for less than minimum wage, there will be more jobs for teens. What about the adult? The easy route of a meanial job won't be there and he or she will be forced to become more qualified. Government can help with training. For the youth, getting a job, any job, regardless of pay, is essential for experience, work habits, and resume for the next job that pays better and is more in demand. For the adults, elect a president who understand real job creation, not phony government rigged jobs that last a year and are gone. Turn the private sector on and it will create new jobs, workers will be in demand and wages will rise.

Pleasant Grove, UT

RG: Lowering the minimum wage for teenagers would make little or no sense. First of all, it would be a serious disadvantage for those adults who are working for minimum wage. If you were struggling to get by, how would you feel about being passed over for a job in favor of a teenager living at home simply because they could pay him less? It also creates resentment in the workplace when you have two people doing the same work and one is paid less simply because of his age.

As far as job creation, I used to run a small business. When I hired people, it was because I had work that needed to be done. The amount of work determined when and who I hired; not what I had to pay them. Paying half as much wouldn't have meant hiring twice as many people because from a management standpoint it makes no sense at all to hire more people than you need.

Coach P
Provo, UT

A teen could be 18-19 or a college age student which could skew the statistics. A good amount of teens actually in the high school where I teach do NOT have jobs. A good deal of those actually desire jobs.

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