Teen Unemployment At 25%

(Memphis)  There’s good news on the jobs front. 

The unemployment rate for those still looking in Memphis now sits at 8.4%. 

It’s higher than the national average, but down significantly from the same time last year. 

On the other hand, there’s one group that’s still having a hard time finding work. 

The unemployment rate for teens, ages 16-19, is almost 25%. 

Summer break has started and that means lots of young people are looking for work. 

While it’s a little late and pickings are slim, experts say following certain tips could land a teen a summer job.

Serving up cool, soup shooters is just one of many tasks on Emily Green`s plate as sous chef at Simply Delicious Caterings.

“I’ll come in, I’ll look at our chef sheets, I’ll make sure we got all the orders checked in, says Green.

Green’s been working for Simply Delicious Executive Chef Scott Delarme since she was 18.

Six years later, she’s still by his side, “The more shifts I worked, and the more kitchen experience I got, the more I realized that this was something that really interested me.”

Green got her start in the restaurant business during a school break, these days, it’s not as easy.

“Adults have absorbed those jobs,” says Manpower Memphis Branch Manager Russell Jones.

Jones says young people can follow some simple steps to find a job.

Despite a lack of work experience, even teenagers need a resume.

“As many activities that you can put on there to show you’re well-rounded and you’re involved,” says Jones.

Be flexible. This means working late hours and weekends.

While the typical jobs might be taken, try offering to cut grass or run errands for neighbors. 

In other words, get creative.

“There are different places you can go to take cooking classes and maybe you can take those cooking classes and bake cakes.  Scale all these different office buildings and just kind of knock on doors and find out if they need any help.”
 
Delarme says that’s the kind of assertiveness he’s looking for, “If it comes down to somebody that took the effort to dress reasonably with the correct information and somebody that comes in off the street straight from the pool, you’ve already got a leg up.”

If you can’t find a paying gig, volunteer and always consider the future.

“You never know, this job could lead to another position,” adds Jones.

It happened for Green, who offers her own advice, “Try as many things as you can until you find what you love to do.”

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