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Summer jobs for youth have benefits beyond the paycheck

By the U of A System Division of Agriculture

Fast Facts:

    • Youth Development Study: summer jobs have longer term benefits for youth
    • Parents should advise working youth about job skills, financial goal setting

(350 words)

LITTLE ROCK -- Summer jobs for young adults have benefits far beyond the paycheck, said Laura Connerly, assistant professor and family financial expert for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

“Among the findings from the long-term Youth Development Study are that working provides an opportunity to explore careers, learn time management and practice money management skills,” she said.

The Youth Development Study was initiated more than 20 years ago in an attempt to address controversies surrounding adolescent employment. Teens were surveyed during all four years of high school and beyond.   

Some insights for parents when it comes to their children seeking summer jobs:

    • Job Search Skills – “Give your child these tips for finding a job: Be neat with your appearance and your job application. Dress for the job you’re seeking,” Connerly said. “Ask people before listing them as references.  Network: tell friends and acquaintances that you’re looking for a job. Post it on your Facebook page.”
    • Volunteer Opportunities – “If your child doesn’t need the income or if he or she can’t find the job he or she wants, volunteering is another option,” Connerly said. ‘ It can be a great way to learn about a career field.  Volunteer work looks great on a resume or college application and can help your child get a job in the future.”  As an added bonus, volunteering contributes to personal growth and increases feelings of well-being.
    • Financial Goals – “Guide your child in setting financial goals for the income he or she will earn,” Connerly said. “’The basic guideline is spend/save/share: Spend no more than 80 percent of your income.  Set aside 10 percent for charitable giving or gifts.  Save at least 10 percent. “Always remember that it’s OK to save more,” she said. “In fact, saving may be the biggest budget category.  Often, teens are saving for a big-ticket item like college or a car. They may even want to invest part of their income.  Investing at an early age allows plenty of time for money to grow.”

The Youth Development Study continues to examine the consequences of work and other formative experiences in adolescence for the transition to adulthood, Read more about the Youth Development Study at:

The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service has the latest research-based information to help consumers build financial security at

The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.

The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2126


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