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National Data Shows Two-Thirds of 16- and 17-Year-Olds Plan to Work This Summer

May 26, 2021 | Education, News, Nonprofits

A new survey of teens conducted for Junior Achievement (JA) by the research firm ENGINE Insights shows that two-thirds of 16- and 17-year-olds (68%) plan to work this summer.

Nearly the same percentage of teens in that age group (69%) who planned to work in the summer of 2019, based on a similar survey taken pre-pandemic. The 2021 survey of 1,002 13- to 17-year-olds was conducted by ENGINE Insights from May 6 through 13, 2021. The survey was not conducted in 2020 due to the pandemic.

“Summer jobs are a great way to introduce young people to the world of work and the importance of earning and managing money,” says Flora Teo, President of JA of Alaska. “These survey results show many teens are eager to have the experience of a first job. Hopefully, with the availability of vaccines, decline in the number of COVID cases, and proper safety measures in place, they will be able to do just that this summer.”

The survey also found:

  • The top summer jobs teens expect to work are in retail (26%) and restaurants (26%), followed by landscaping/lawn-mowing and other outdoors work (19%) and babysitting/childcare (13%).
  • Nearly all teens surveyed (90%) said that they plan to attend college after high school.
  • Of those planning to attend college after high school, a quarter (27%) expect to take out student loans, while nearly the same percentage (28%) believe they will find some other way to pay for college. Nearly half (45%) are “not sure” if they will need to take out student loans or not.
  • Two-thirds (68%) of all teens say they support “debt-free college” – or college that is free for all attendees. However, that percentage drops to only a third (32%) if it requires higher taxes to pay for it.
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