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Four ProQuest Resources on Jobs for Youth and Minimum Wage

Good news!

Summer job prospects for young people in the U.S. are looking rosier this year than in previous years and many are paying higher than the federal minimum wage.

During and after the Great Recession (2007-2009) and the years immediately following, jobs were scarce, especially for teens. But this summer, entry level positions are freeing up and youth unemployment, while still higher than the overall unemployment rate, is lower than it has been in years. And, according to a national survey conducted between February 11 and March 6, 2015 on behalf of CareerBuilder by Harris Poll, 53% of employers offering summer jobs are offering positions paying $15 or more per hour on average.

Delve into the following four ProQuest products to learn more about jobs for teens and young adults as well as the issue of minimum wage, which according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, disproportionately affects the young (50.4% are ages 16 to 24).

1. eLibrary 

eLibrary offers two editorially-created Research Topic pages on Summer Jobs and Teenagers and Minimum Wage. These pages include links to handpicked articles, websites, primary source documents, videos, and images. You can find these pages via keyword search or by clicking on the following link on the search page:

research topic link

Summer Jobs and Teenagers

Screenshot of eLibrary Research Topic, Summer Jobs, and Teenagers

2. ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher 

ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher contains a Minimum Wage leading issue. Inside this issue, you can find an overview, key definitions, an interactive map on minimum wage laws in the United States, articles on multiple perspectives, and much more. The Minimum Wage essential question, with supporting pro-con questions, asks the following question:

minimum wage essential question

Screenshot of SIRS Issues Researcher Essential Question for the Minimum Wage Leading Issue

3. CultureGrams

CultureGrams provides a trove of reliable, up-to-date cultural content, including an infographic of an average person for each country. Faces of the World Interviews offer an intimate glimpse into the life of an ordinary person–an adult, teen or child–within a particular country. Take a look at some of the youth interviews to glean information and discover what is involved in a typical day, including education and/or any type of job they hold.

Here is an excerpt from a CultureGrams interview with 16-year-old Ali of Mopti, Mali, when he was asked to describe a typical day of the week for him:

ali

Screencap from CultureGrams Faces of the World Interview with Ali, age 16, Mopti, Mali

The first thing I do is feed the goats in the garden. After this, I wash myself and go to the shore of the river to see if one of the fishermen needs help in their pinasse. The pinasse is the motor boat that the fishermen use in the river to go fishing or sometimes to go to other villages and bring people or food to Mopti. There are many of those in Mopti. Sometimes there is no work, so I have to go back home and stay there, but if I find work, then I go with the fisherman and help him load the pinasse and drive it in the river. Then at the end of the day, they pay me some money. Sometimes it is not much, because it depends if they have to transport people or not. If they get a lot of fish, then they give me some of it, and I take it back home to my mother.

4. Historical Newspapers (Graphical) 

Historical Newspapers (Graphical) contains full-text historical newspaper articles covering the enactment of minimum wage laws in the United States. From either the Topics or Timeline tabs, you can click on The Great Depression and locate the Great Depression & Labor Subtopic to learn about the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which established minimum wages and also set child labor guidelines.

Additionally, Historical Newspapers is an excellent resource for learning about what types of jobs teens and young adults held in decades past to compare with the typical jobs of today. A keyword search narrowed to the decades of the 1920s and 1930s and using the words “summer jobs” and “girls” and results in all sorts of interesting articles that provide a window into the past about the types of summer work done by girls or young women. Some jobs mentioned are typical — such as camp counselor or waitress — but others, such as the ones mentioned below are of a more unusual nature.

Capturing Baby Elk

Screencap of a ProQuest Historical Newspaper article from the June 24, 1928, edition of the Daily Boston Globe

1921 Historical Newspaper Article

Screencap of a ProQuest Historical Newspaper article from the June 4, 1921, edition of The Baltimore Sun

We are constantly adding new material to our products.

If you have suggestions for new topics for consideration for our products, feel free to let us know in the comments section below or tweet us at #ProQuest.

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