The number of young employed workers in the United States, ages 16- to 24-years-old, increased by nearly 2 percent from April to July of this year. Now there are nearly 19 million workers in this age group. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, less than 50 percent of residents in that young age group were employed in July of 2011.
This marked the lowest employment rate for our youths on record since 1948.Our Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys were surprised with these numbers because July is typically a time when our youth hit the job market in full force because of summer break. They use this summer break to earn some extra money before they head back to school for the year. During the school year, young workers are under stricter regulations regarding their work abilities. From this April to July of this year, the number of unemployed workers in this age group rose by about 745,000.
Since it’s so difficult for residents to find work, many adults are applying for jobs that were once held for teens. This trend has a negative affect because it forces teens to apply for jobs that they’re not suited for and it could even leave them at an increased risk for a work-related injury in Georgia. They may also be less likely to voice their concerns about unsafe work environments if they believe that their job could be in jeopardy because of it.
Young people who were actively looking for jobs or were currently working in the month of July 2011 totaled nearly 60 percent, which again is the lowest July rate on record.
More than 25 percent of young workers were employed in the hospitality and leisure sector. Another 20 percent worked in the retail trade industry.
Parents are urged to be active in their teen’s employment choices. Many teens are unaware of their rights as an employee. Parents should be actively involved in their child’s work to ensure that they’re safe and are being treated fairly on the job.
Workers who are ages 14- and 15-years-old are only allowed to work 3 hours each day and only 18 hours a week during the school year. They’re allowed to work 8 hour days and 40 hour weeks when school is not in session. Employees of this age are not allowed to work passed 7:00 p.m. during school and no later than 9:00 p.m. from June 1st to Labor Day.
Workers who are ages 16- and 17-years-old are allowed to be employed for as many hours a week as they’d like, but they cannot be employed at a job that has been declared hazardous by the Secretary of Labor.
Employees who are at least 18-years-old no longer have to abide by the federal youth employment and child labor law requirements. They are free to work under adult employee regulations.
If you or your teen has experienced a serious injury at work in the Atlanta area and want to discuss your rights, contact the experienced Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys at J. Franklin Burns. Call 404-303-7770 to make a free appointment to discuss your claim.