Discussions about the role of paid employment in high school students' lives usually involve untested assumptions about historical trends in the frequency, intensity, and selective nature of students' employment behaviors. Using several nationally representative data sources, we find few changes in rates of employment or hours worked per week among adolescents since 1940 or among students since 1980. We observe important changes in recent decades in racial/ethnic and gender differences in employment and intensive employment. Finally, we observe that the relationship between students' intensive employment and high school completion has been stable and persistently significant since the late 1960s.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank Kevin Quinn and Becky Pettit for valuable advice and suggestions. Any errors and omissions are the sole responsibility of the authors. This research was supported by a graduate student research fellowship from the Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology at the University of Washington and by a grant from the American Educational Research Association, whose AERA Grants Program is funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics and the Office of Educational Research and Improvement under NSF Grant #RED-9980573.
- Adolescent employment
- High school dropout
- School enrollment