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Teens Should be Able to Find a Job this Summer in Michigan

May 9, 2023

Article courtesy MIRS News for SBAM’s Lansing Watchdog e-newsletter

Teenagers shouldn’t have trouble finding a job this summer, particularly working in hospitality, retail, entertainment or recreation in summer tourist areas, according to Department of Technology, Management and Budget estimates.

The summer 2023 unemployment rate for teens between the ages of 16 to 19 is expected to average 12.7%, which is a decline from 2022 at 14.4%. There are 205,000 total teens expected to enter the workforce this summer. This is expected to be the first year that teen employment returns to pre-pandemic levels.

“Michigan teens are forecasted to have low unemployment rates as they enter a favorable labor market,” said Wayne Rourke, labor market information director of the Michigan Center for Data and Analytics. “Teen participation in the state’s workforce is expected to be similar to pre-pandemic levels this summer.”

The overall population of teens in Michigan has steadily declined over the past 10 years. Of the 500,000 teens between the ages of 16 and 19, 235,000 plan on getting a job, making the teen non-participation rate 46.6%.

Teens looking to get a job have some restrictions. Minors cannot be in contact with hazardous substances, chemicals, explosives or radioactive substances. Those under 16 cannot drive or work as an outside helper. They cannot get jobs in logging and sawmills, or with woodworking machinery.

Anyone under age 16 cannot be on ladders or scaffolding, and those aged 16 to 18 shouldn’t go higher than one story. Under age 16 cannot use brazing, welding, soldering or heat-treating equipment. If you are under 16, you can’t work on industrial or business construction sites, but may work residential construction, but can’t do roofing or operate heavy machinery.

Any job with industrial shredders, industrial mixers and industrial power-equipment are not available to teens under 18.

Also, during the summer, ages 16 and 17 can’t work more than 48 hours, but they have to have been off school for seven days. If the teen is in school, and prior to the seven days, they cannot work more than 24 hours per week.

There are some exemptions, such as passing the GED or being emancipated. There are other exemptions for farm work and domestic chores, as well as a business owned by a parent.

There have also been updates for teens working around alcohol.

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