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The 2005 Job Outlook for Teens: Chances better for 18-19 year-olds;
16-17s must sell themselves; limited prospects for 14-15s, says expert.

(Huntington Beach, CA- April 2005) Job opportunities for those 18 and older will be the greatest.  For 16-17 year olds, the job market will be very competitive.  Fewer paying jobs will be available for 14-15 year olds according to Renee Ward, founder of www.Teens4Hire.org. 

The jobless rate for teens 16-19 has increased steadily since the year 2000 but there are encouraging signs that 2005 will have more openings teens could fill.

“We’ve noticed more “we’re hiring” signs at places that traditionally have hired teens and several companies in this sector have announced increased hiring plans for the summer. For example, travel and tourism is up and that means more openings at amusement parks, vacation spots, parks and recreational areas, Ward says.

High grade point averages and good interpersonal skills will help those 16 and older, but current U.S. child labor laws restrict the kinds of jobs and hours teens aged 14-15 can work. 

Teens should not expect to be handed a paying job. They will have to earn it. Ward says, “There are more teens seeking jobs than jobs available and companies still tell us that they’d prefer to hire older workers instead of teens because they feel teens are not prepared for the workplace." 

Businesses prefer hiring older workers for their education, maturity and previous work experience.

“Teens can improve their odds of landing a job if they show that they are self-motivated, willing to work hard, have a positive attitude, are reliable, have the basic education required to do the job and understand the needs of the business,” says Ward. 

She says a neat appearance, an accurate application, a firm hand-shake and eye contact also help.

On the Teens4Hire.org website there is a great deal of free information to help teens land a job, get work experience and/or explore other ways to earn money.  There is also a section for parents and school career counselors.

Employers can post job ads for $49.00.

The Forward Group publishes www.teens4hire.org and www.seniors4hire.org, a national online career center for those 50 and older.