Spending the summer mowing lawns, running cash registers, or bussing tables may be a thing of the past for American teenagers if trends continue.
Summer jobs are continually disappearing, and fewer than 3 in 10 American teens hold jobs from June to August, according to the Associated Press. Employment for 16-19-year olds has fallen to its lowest level since World War II, beginning particularly in 2000.
To make matters worse, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that teen employment may never return to pre-recession levels.
The decline in job employment comes at a time when youths are spending less time working and more of their summer in school, playing sports, or other activities geared toward college success.
Overall, more than 44 percent of teens that seek summer jobs don't get them or work fewer hours than they prefer, reported the Associated Press.
This is troubling for teens that need work experience and income, and do not plan on attending college in the future.
Labor economist Harry Holzer told the Associated Press that the income gap between rich and poor is worsened when lower-income youths who are less likely to enroll in college are unable to get skills and training.
"For young high school graduates or dropouts, their early work experience is more closely tied to their success in the labor market," he continued.