Oregon Labor Market Information System
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The Seldom Seen Teen - Youth Employment on the North Coast
by Erik A Knoder
Published Jun-15-2012

The number of teens employed along Oregon's north coast has fallen by nearly one-half in the past 14 years. Teen employment reached a peak in the summer of 1997 when an estimated 2,714 teens ages 14 to 18 were employed in Clatsop, Lincoln and Tillamook counties. By the summer of 2010, only an estimated 1,451 teens were working in the same counties, a drop of 47 percent.

Some of the decline in teen employment is due to a smaller teen population. In 1997 an estimated 7,287 teens ages 15 to 19 lived in the three counties. By 2010, this group had declined 15 percent to 6,165. But most of the decline in teen employment is simply because a smaller share are working. The seasonal fluctuations in employment show how many teens work summer jobs. During the summer of 2010 nearly half of teen employment along the north coast was in the tourism-driven accommodation and food services industry.

(Note: Population estimates for the age group 14 to 18 are not available so the age group 15 to 19 is used as a proxy. Population estimates for 1998 and 1999 are suspect, but don't alter overall trends.)

Graph 1
Youth employment and population Clatsop, Tillamook, and Lincoln counties