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ECON QUIZ: Test your knowledge about summer jobs

Staff WriterMay 18, 2019

As the weather warms up, the thoughts of young people naturally turn to one thing: summer jobs. Each year, between April and July, the number of employed young people surges as students look for summer work and recent high school and college graduates look for permanent work.

Considered those age 16-24, the youth labor force increased by 2.6 million, or 12.7 percent, to a total of 23.0 million in summer 2018. The leisure and hospitality industry employed about 26 percent of youth workers, followed by the retail industry (18 percent) and education/health services (11 percent). Highly coveted summer and permanent work in construction (5 percent), manufacturing (6.5 percent) and government (think state and national parks) (7.1 percent) employ fewer overall, but generally pay better than average youth wages.

Youth labor force participation peaked at 77.5 percent in July 1989, the same summer that this (then) 19-year-old Econ Quiz author worked in the stock room at Fish Building Supply in Middleton.

What percentage of all youth, ages 16 to 24, were employed in the summer of 2018?

A) 68.9 percent

B) 72.1 percent

C) 60.6 percent

D) 63.6 percent

Answer: C. In July 2018, 60.6 percent of all US residents ages 16 to 24 were employed.

Source: The Bureau of Labor Statistics> (2018). Employment and unemployment among youth – Summer 2018.

— Kristin Runge, UW-Extension; kris tin.runge@ces.uwex.edu; Tw itter @Run geKristin

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