ArkLaTex teens face tough summer job market - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

ArkLaTex teens face tough summer job market

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SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

Friday may be the first full day of summer. But the summer job market is already well underway. And with a staggering unemployment rate for teenagers across the country, it's tough for some teens to find work right now.

The nation's teen unemployment rate stands at more than 24 percent. That's according to research by the Employment Policies Institute. And it marks the fifth straight year the teen jobless rate exceeds 20 percent.

Analysts say with the sluggish economy, older Americans and even 20-something workers are competing for the same low-level positions that typically might go to a teenager. And worse yet, the best time to look for that summer job was back in April and May.

But experts encourage young job seekers to stay flexible and persistent. That includes Jacques Lasseigne, the Director of Field Operations for the Louisiana Workforce Commission. "It's never too late because you could probably find some opportunities but your choice of work may not be as good as it was in April or may," said Lasseigne.

For the millions of teenagers who've been trying to find a summer job this year, the challenges are all too real. "I need a job so bad," explained teenager Abby Stone. Stone said she won't give up until she lands some kind of job this summer.

Stone lamented, "I've been applying to literally every job. I've been looking for like 5 weeks now. but, I'm not sure."

Back at the LA Workforce Commission office in Shreveport, Lasseigne offered some advice for young job seekers: Dress for success, have a positive attitude and lose the cell phone-period. "Employers tell us that they have, they're in an interview process with a young person, talking with them and the young person gets a call and they answer the phone in the interview, and they're texting during the interview. So, young people don't understand you don't do that."

Analysts aren't just blaming the sluggish economy for leaving adults competing for low-level jobs with teenagers. They say teens have also been hurt by the raising of minimum wage, leaving fewer positions open for everybody.

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