Kayla Allard of Windham may only be 15, but she’s already got her mind set on working.
As she thinks about getting her driver’s license, she needs to figure out how to pay for a car, gas and insurance.
But Allard has found tough competition for summer jobs.
“All the college kids come home and fill up the summer jobs,” she said. “They have the connections and people will hire them since they’re older.”
She was able to find a job babysitting.
Allard is not alone among her age group having trouble finding jobs for the summer, according to Anita Josten of New Hampshire Employment Security. Only 8 percent of new hires in New Hampshire during the second quarter of last year were between the ages of 14 and 18.
“That’s pretty typical,” Josten said. “Since 2009, it has hovered around that number.”
On the other hand, Josten said, 13 percent of new hires were adults between 19 and 21.
She said arts and entertainment, food service and retail trade are the industries which hire the most teenagers.
Although younger teens represent a low percentage of those finding jobs, it doesn’t mean they aren’t looking.
Canobie Lake Park has seen hundreds of teens looking for jobs.
“We have more than 100 teens working for us and we’ve had to turn people away,” said Chris Nicoli, spokesman for Canobie Lake Park. “We like to rely on teens because we’re a seasonal business and it coincides with school just getting out.”
Nicoli said the park held two job fairs this spring and both were well attended.
“The last two years, we have seen strong, quality applicants,” he said. “I think it’s because the amount of employment that is available to students has diminished slightly, with the way the job market going.”
The unemployment rate among young adults could be having a trickledown effect on teens. Nationwide, 11.1 percent of adults ages 18 to 29 are unemployed. The unemployment rate for adults is just 7.5 percent.