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11,000 Idaho teens looking for summer jobs

By Stephanie Hale-Lopez
Published On: Jun 11 2013 07:54:19 PM CDT

Nationally the unemployment rate for teens sits at 24.5 percent, more than triple the national jobless rate of 7.6 percent.

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

Whether its saving for college or having a little extra spending money, many teenagers are looking for summer jobs. 

But even though the economy is rebounding, according to a local economist, the teen unemployment rate hasn't changed much over the past two years -- sitting at or above 20 percent. 

"Teenage workers are making up a larger percentage of the workforce," said Will Jenson, Idaho Department of Labor economist.  

Jenson said more than 11,000 Idaho teens are currently searching for work. 

Nationally the unemployment rate for teens sits at 24.5 percent, more than triple the national jobless rate of 7.6 percent.  

"The competition is still fierce, but it's ultra important that these teenage workers get this work experience now," said Jenson.  

13-year-old Jacob Mecham landed a job moving irrigation pipes. His paychecks go toward raising his goat for 4-H. 

"Lower your standards," said Mecham. "Don't try to work in nice shops at the mall or something. Look around for labor work first." 

But 19-year-old Hannah Sarah Davis didn't have the same luck. She's from Pocatello but travels to Jackson Hole for her summer job.

"A lot of people aren't hiring and it was really hard," said Davis. "I had to turn in job application after job application. Finally I just gave in and looked somewhere else." 

But Hannah isn't alone; Jenson said 2,000 more teens are searching for summer work this year than in 2012.

If you can't land a summer job, the Department of Labor suggests working an unpaid internship.

Even if you don't get a paycheck, it does offer experience and serves as a resume builder.

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