The Economy’s Impact on Teens Have Unexpected Results for American Families Skip to main content

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The Economy’s Impact on Teens Have Unexpected Results for American Families


We talk a lot about the impact of the recent economic downturn on seniors: how hard is to retire, or even remain employed, as debt rises and dreams of post-career, golden years spent without worry fade as quickly as home prices.

But what about the millions of Americans who have yet to embark on careers, now facing a rude awakening that the jobs that used to pad their wallets and prepare them for college and the workforce, are now disappearing or filled by fellow workers twice their age? An underreported impact of our lingering economic malaise and changing job market is the impact on teenage workers. These younger applicants, often just another breadwinner in lower and middle-income households, are experiencing higher than normal rejections during summer job season—and with unexpected results on the safety and wealth of broader society.

According to a new report from Reuters, “A record-low one in four U.S. teenagers will land a summer job in the coming months as a result of a still-poor job market and lost federal funding, according to a report issued on Monday. As a consequence, urban studies experts said cities like Chicago—where summer unemployment among African-Americans aged 16 to 19 years approaches 90 percent—could experience a rise in street violence… The summer employment rate among U.S. teen-agers this year was projected at between 25 percent and 27 percent, based on an analysis of four decades of employment trends by Andrew Sum of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston.”

But summer joblessness trickles into more aspects of our society than even increases in violence: fewer teenage workers means a less experienced and savvy workforce, reduced tax revenues, higher prison numbers and costs. But before it hits the broader economy, fewer employed teens means less money rolling into beleaguered households depending on an “all hands on deck” approach to family income. Unfortunately, government money has all but dried up for federal programs designed to employ young people and, in turn, has left many teens, like those from Illinois chronicled in the Reuters article, and their families, high and dry.

“Federal stimulus dollars directed to cities and applied to summer jobs programs have run out and the funding was not renewed by Congress, meaning 18,000 more Illinois teenagers [alone] will be jobless this summer, according to [one] report.”

So what can families do to ward off financial devastation amid a tough economic time for finding work for all ages of the household? A personal bankruptcy for the adults of the clan, whether it be a Chapter 7 liquidation filing or a Chapter 13 repayment plan, can provide a safe and sure way to help you get through your family’s financial crisis—whenever it arises. Specifically, Chapter 7 is the quickest path to dealing with consumer or medical debts that may have spiraled out of control as you sought gainful employment in this rough economic climate. In the alternative, a Chapter 13 plan can, in as little as three years, help save the family home, car, and thousands of dollars that could be used for savings, retirement and/or your teen’s higher education.

The bankruptcy attorneys at the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt offer a totally FREE debt consultation and now, more than ever, it’s time to take them up on their offer. Just call toll free to +1-919-646-2654, or you can make your own appointment right online at We now offer Saturday appointments! Simply click on the yellow “FREE Consultation Now” button.

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