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Two of five 15-year olds hold jobs

May 10, 1999

From 1994 to 1997, nearly two of every five 15-year olds held an "employee" job--defined as an on-going relationship with a particular employer. An additional quarter worked in "freelance" jobs such as babysitting or yard work. All in all, almost two-thirds of 15-year olds participated in some type of work activity.

Percent employed of individuals aged 15 in 1994-97 by type of job
[Chart data—TXT]

Young men age 15 were more likely to have an employee job than were young women of that age and worked slightly more weeks than female youths (27 and 24 weeks, respectively). Young male employees earned an average of $5.82 (in January 1997 dollars) at employee jobs held while they were 15; young women earned an average of $5.58.

The percent of 15-year-olds among both sexes who worked in employee jobs was notably higher than for 14-year-olds. However, female youths still were more likely to work at a freelance job. While age 15, nearly one-half of females did at least some freelance work, compared with approximately one-third of males.

Data on the employment experience and other characteristics of youths are a product of the National Longitudinal Surveys program. Additional information is available from "Employment Experience and Other Characteristics of Youths: Results from a New Longitudinal Survey," news release USDL 99-110.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Two of five 15-year olds hold jobs at (visited July 13, 2024).

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