Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Teen work permits continue to drop

Posted May 24, 2010 9:56 a.m. EDT
Updated May 30, 2011 10:05 p.m. EDT

If your teen hasn't found a summer job yet, he's probably not alone.

The number of youth work permits issued in North Carolina is in a free fall and could be down more than 50 percent if the average number of permits issued per month continues.

In the fiscal year ending June 30, 2008, the state issued 83,098 permits, according to the N.C. Department of Labor. It dropped 30 percent to 57,383 in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2009. And during the current fiscal year, just 32,574 permits were issued as of April 30.

If the trend continues for this year, about 40,000 teens will get job permits during the fiscal year that ends June 30, a 53 percent drop from two years ago.

The poor economy is surely at least one reason for the downturn. The statewide unemployment rate is about 10.8 percent, the Employment Security Commission reported Friday, a slight improvement from past months.

Still, when a business does have a job opening, they may be hiring workers with a bit more experience.

"We can say maybe employers are hiring older workers and not needing the teen workers," said Neal O'Briant, spokesman for the state labor department.

State and federal laws regulate exactly what kind of work a child can do and how long they can do it. It doesn't extend to informal babysitting arrangements or chores around private homes. But work permits are required if your son or daughter is making sandwiches at a sub shop or serving as a camp counselor, for instance.

To learn about what's allowed and what isn't,  the labor department spells out all the rules. Click here for details.

And if your teen is lucky enough to land a job, she can apply for a youth work permit online. Click here for more information.

Would love to hear about what your teens are doing this summer ...