By Ken Molestina


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NORTH TEXAS (CBS11) – A summertime rite of passage and teenage tradition seems to be going away.

Ron Newton, a work place culture expert and author from North Texas, says fewer and fewer teens are rolling up their sleeves and taking on summer jobs.

“Here in the North Texas area the historic numbers of teenagers has declined almost half that are seeking summer jobs,” said Newton.

He says back in the 70’s and 80’s across the country about 800,000 teens would flock to take on summer jobs in places like fast-food restaurants and grocery stores. He says nowadays that number is about 400,000.

According to Newton, the downward trend is due to two factors. First, he says today’s teens, known as Generation Z, in large part only have technology skills.

“Most summer jobs don’t involve the use of those skills,” said Newton. “Most jobs involve more grunt work more low level work and Generation Z doesn’t find those jobs appealing.”

Secondly, the unstable economy in many places has forced teens who do want jobs, to compete with older adults for what used to be “kids’ jobs.”

“There is no such thing as a kid job anymore because companies are reliant on every level of labor they have,” said Newton.

DFW area teenager Madison Anglin isheaded into her senior year of high school. She says she started looking for a summer job almost 6 months ago and recently locked one down at an area recreation center.

“I kind of like to think of it like training before I go off to college and like the real world,” said Anglin.

Newton said despite the decline in teens working, he believes Generation Z teens will eventually come around and become productive members of the work force.

“Generation Z as well as the millennials will eventually learn to perform the job according to the skills and standards needed by corporations,” said Newton.

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