It was at Oregon’s Timberline Lodge, later known as a setting in the horror movie “The Shining,” where Patrick Doyle earned his first real paycheck.
He was a busboy. The job didn’t pay much. But Doyle quickly learned lessons that served him for years as he rose to become the CEO of Domino’s, the pizza delivery giant:
Show up on time, dress properly, treat customers well.
“I grew up a lot that summer,” he says.
As summer 2017 begins, America’s teenagers are far less likely to be acquiring the kinds of experiences Doyle found so useful. Once a teenage rite of passage, the summer job is vanishing.
Instead of baling hay, scooping ice cream or stocking supermarket shelves in July and August, today’s teens are more likely to be enrolled in summer school, doing volunteer work to burnish their college credentials or just hanging out with friends.
For many, not working is a choice. For some others, it reflects a lack of opportunities where they live, often in lower-income urban areas: They sometimes find that older workers hold the low-skill jobs that once would have been available to them.
In July 1986, 57 percent of Americans ages 16 to 19 were employed. The proportion stayed over 50 percent until 2002 when it began dropping steadily. By last July, only 36 percent were working.
Economists and labor market observers worry that falling teen employment will deprive them of valuable work experience and of opportunities to encounter people of different ethnic, social and cultural backgrounds.
But the longer-term trend for teen employment is down and likely to stay that way for several reasons:
— Teenagers and their parents are increasingly aware of the value of a college education. A result is that more kids are spending summers volunteering or studying, to prepare for college and compete for slots at competitive schools.
In July 1986, just 12 percent of…