Summer Jobs Hard To Come By For Tulsa Teens

Thursday, June 10th 2010, 4:35 pm
By: News On 6

By Chris Wright, The News On 6

TULSA, OK – As the economy struggles to bounce back from the recession, many Tulsa teens are having a tough time finding a summer job.

A recent study says that nationally, teens are facing the worst job market in more than 40 years.

The lifeguards on duty at Whiteside Park are sitting in some coveted chairs. They have something many teens don't this summer. A job.

"I have a lot of friends that are stressing out trying to find a job before they go off to college, and just to earn the extra money," said Libby Lyle, lifeguard. "It's nice to have something to come back to."

Traditional teen summer jobs like lifeguarding are hard to come by. The numbers say it's the worst summer job market since 1969, and as you might suspect, the economy is to blame.

Experts point out that young adults and older employees, desperate for any work, are taking jobs traditionally reserved for teens. That means more applicants for fewer positions.

"What positions we had are already filled," said Bob Hendrick, Tulsa Parks Department.

The Parks Department says it usually fills job openings well into the summer. But not in 2010.

"This year, we had all of our vacancies filled over a month ago," Hendrick said. "So I don't know how the teens knew about it, but they swooped in and got all the positions filled early."

Teens fortunate enough to be employed say they're lucky to have a job, and they don't plan on giving theirs up anytime soon.

"I feel bad for my friends because they are having a really hard time finding a job and I wish I could sympathize but I can't," Lyle said.

Experts say another reason for summer hiring slump is that industries hit hard by the recession like theme parks, hotels, and restaurants, employ the majority of young Americans.