BOISE -- The sluggish economy and high unemployment numbers are making it even more difficult for teens to find jobs in Idaho this summer.

A report by the Center for Labor Market at Northeastern University says fewer than 3 in 10 teenagers nationwide have a job this summer. That is the lowest projection since World War II.

Local teen finds a job

KTVB spoke with one local teen who says she's lucky to have a job. Madelin Jones is a high school senior who is also one of the fortunate teenagers who found her first summer job after just a couple months of searching.

Jones works as a baker and a chef's assistant at Deli George in downtown Boise. She considers herself lucky because many of her friends are still looking for jobs. Boise State Economics Professor Don Holley says that's partly because most teenagers don't yet have the experience and skills needed for the jobs that are available right now.

Here in the middle of a business cycle, in the bottom of the business cycle, so many of people are looking for work, and teenagers now have to compete with adults, said Holley.

George Blumenschein is the owner of Deli George. He says he gets a lot of applications from teenagers like Madeline, but says many of them lack marketable skills. Blumenschein says some even lack basic interview skills.

One of the things that really hinders teenagers, and -- I think its part of our education program -- is they are in no way prepared looking for a job, said Blumenschein.

Blumenschein says the age of an applicant isn't necessarily an issue for him, but adds that experience and skills are.

One upshot: the food services industry

Holley says there are some good signs in the job market for teens. He says employment numbers from the Idaho Labor Department are up --specifically in food services, a sector that typically employs more teens.

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