(WTVM) - School's out, summer's here and the job search begins. Many teens are now looking for summer jobs as a way to make money, but these young students are struggling to find some.
The job market for teenagers has been struggling for a few years, and unfortunately, many teenagers are losing hope.
Students like Abby Stone are anxiously waiting to land a summer job.
"I've been applying to literally every job…I've been looking for like five weeks now…but I don't know," said Stone.
Stone had a summer job last year, but she says it's harder to find one this time. She needs the money to attend her high school.
"I pay $85 dollars a week…they won't let me stay in school if I don't," Stone said. "I do not ever want to leave school because I want to get through."
A summer job means a stronger resume and gaining essential skills to succeed in college and future careers. But James Shipp, program director for the Workforce Investment Act, says students have to plan months ahead to get a summer job now.
"When they come over for Christmas break…that's a good time to start looking for jobs," Shipp said. "The sooner you apply the better chances of you getting a job. And network…it's the best way…sometimes even better than applying early."
Teen unemployment has exceeded more than 20% for the past four years. Sixteen to 19 year olds might have to go back to school without ever finding another job.