Colorado teens are seeing increased competition for summer jobs. According to the Colorado Department of Labor and Unemployment, teens ages 16 through 19 years of age face the highest unemployment levels across any age group.
The Mesa County Workforce Center currently has more than 1000 teens registered who are actively looking for work. Suzie Miller, Business Services Manager at Mesa County Workforce Center, says unfavorable economic conditions have led older adults with more experience to apply for jobs once considered "teen jobs."
"They're competing with a different sort of population," Miller says. "There's more competition from other age groups. That's a factor of what our current economic condition has been like."
For 17-year-old Joy Moran, it took about 15 different job applications before she landed her current position as a hostess at The Egg and I restaurant in Grand Junction.
"I do realize it's hard for teenagers to get a job because I was one of them until I got lucky with this one," Moran says.
Moran says she's never needed a job before, but gas expenses and a future college tuition bill have led her to pursue employment this summer.
Miller says jobs in restaurants, parks and recreation and retail shops are seeing an increase in demand. Crystal Robinson, Supervisor at Main Street Bagels, says she has a stack of more than 30 job applications right now. She says on some days she'll receive more than 10 applications in a single day.
"As soon as we put an ad in the newspaper, people are just flying through wanting applications, even people who have resumes with college [experience]," Robinson says.
Miller recommends volunteering for any teen who can't find a paid job and wants to build their resume.
"Things they can put on their resume to show they're begging to establish responsibility and establish some work ethics are going to lead to a really successful career in the future," Miller says.
The state-wide Governor's Summer Job Hunt Program helps teens find jobs. For more information on the program, visit: http://workforcecenter.mesacounty.us/youth/programs/
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