Do Gen Z Teens Plan To Have Summer Jobs?

Headlines about summer teen jobs disappearing are cropping up, but does Gen Z even want them? What are Gen Z teens planning to do during the coming months? We asked them…

Summer jobs for teens are “disappearing.” Or is it that teens aren’t applying for the jobs that are out there? We’ve seen recent declarations of both. According to the Wall Street Journal, retailers, which account for roughly 25% of teen jobs, are shutting down stores in droves, potentially taking their summer teen jobs with them. But Bloomberg reports that teen employment has seen a steady decline since the ‘70s—from a peak of 72% in 1978—not because teens can’t find jobs, but because they’re not looking for them. Instead, more and more 16-19-year-olds are enrolling in summer school each year. And it’s not just to make up failed classes, but to take advanced classes as well. Remember when summer school was akin to a death sentence? Well, Gen Z is reportedly going voluntarily. Compared to the 1980s, more teens today are taking the classes needed to attend a four-year college, and compared to just four years ago, enrollment in advanced placement classes is up almost 40%.

 Last summer, we heard the same predictions about low summer teen job employment, but in the end it saw a major rebound, increasing by “more than 15 percent to its highest level since 2013.” When we asked 13-17-year-olds what they did over their summer vacation, “work” was the 4th most common response. So what does Gen Z have planned for the coming months? In our recent survey on summer plans, we asked 13-17-year-olds exactly what’s on the summer horizon. Here’s what they tell us their summers hold: 

Hanging out with friends, spending time with family, and going on vacation are, unsurprisingly, the top-ranking summer plans. But over two in five…

 
 

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“I move around every few years so it would be a huge hassle to have to buy and sell property so frequently.”—Female, 28, IN

Gen Z will spend the most on rent of any generation, but Millennials aren’t far behind. HotPads estimates that 2-20-year-olds will spend $226,000 on rent before they buy a home and 24-38-year-olds will ring in at $202,000. Despite the difference, Gen Z will own their first home one year earlier than Millennials because they’ll have “a stronger job market than [M]illennials”—but, despite the myths, they are buying homes in greater numbers. PS: Los Angeles tops the list of where young demos will spend the most on rent. (Business Insider)

What’s behind board games' popularity today? The NPD Group found that board games grew 8% compared to the toy industry’s overall growth of 8% in the past year and has “no signs of slowing down.” Digital detoxing plays a part, as more Millennial parents worry about their kids’ screen time and seek toys that foster face-to-face relationships. But despite the analog appeal, games are also getting high-tech and the word-of-mouth media they receive propels social media-friendly games like Pie Face to the top of toy charts. (Kidscreen)

Parents still have the most influence over kids today, but online celebrities are also top role models. Mintel research found that 86% of 6-17-year-olds say their parents are among their top role models, 62% say teachers, and 41% say siblings. But the top kind of celebrity that gets added to the category are social media celebrities at 35%, followed closely by musicians and athletes. Only 22% said actors were among their top role models and just 16% said the President. (MediaPost)

Disney has a new beverage to fill your Instagram feed: The Purple Wall Slushie. The Millennial & Gen Z-loved company has had no problem coming up with social media-friendly items, from Baby Groot bread to a viral Beauty and the Beast-inspired tumbler, and now they’ve rolled out a boba and taro beverage at Disney World. The Purple Wall is a famous destination to snap a pic for social media in the Magic Kingdom, and this slushy is made specifically to match up with the wall (and monetize on it). (POPSUGARInsider)

Speaking of Instagrammability, the Space Needle’s new, clear benches are sure to make for a thrilling photo op. The iconic viewing deck for the Seattle skyline has been in the midst of a makeover to create a better (and decidedly more social media-worthy) viewing experience. A metal base and caging has been replaced with a high glass wall from floor to sky, and so-called “skyrisers” will let visitors sit right on the edge of it all—and snap a selfie. (Curbed)

“People have been planning outfits since the start of the year [for prom].”—Male, 15, NC

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