AUSTIN — As summer approaches, the number of teenagers looking for work increases dramatically. According to a 2012 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) study, the number of 16- to 19-year-olds employed or searching for work last year skyrocketed between April and July, increasing by almost two million workers for a total of more than 7.3 million in July (see below).
“Summer employment can help Texas high school students learn the value of hard work and responsibility, while experiencing the pride of earning their first paycheck,” said Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Chairman Andres Alcantar. “TWC is committed to helping Texas’ future workforce acquire the skills that will benefit them throughout their careers.”
TWC reminds employers, workers and parents to familiarize themselves with state and federal laws, as well as safety regulations that address child labor issues. Any person under the age of 18 is considered a child when employed. Federal and state child labor laws are designed to protect youth against potentially detrimental occupational settings or working conditions that could interfere with their safety, health or well-being. Employers also must comply with wage and hour laws and regulations enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), available online at youthrules.dol.gov.
“I urge teenagers, parents and employers to educate themselves on the child labor laws designed to protect our children,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Ronny Congleton. “Safety should always be the most important factor as Texas youths join the workforce.”
In Texas, certain child labor laws apply to different age groups and different job types. For example, children aged 11 or older may deliver newspapers to customers on established routes. Children aged 14 or 15 may perform office and clerical work, some kitchen work, cashiering, bagging and carrying out customer orders, among other tasks, as long as it takes place during certain hours. Children aged 16 or 17 can perform work for any number of hours, as long as it is not deemed hazardous by DOL. Visit texasworkforce.org/ui/lablaw/llcl70.pdf to view TWC’s child labor law poster.
“Summer job opportunities provide great experience for young Texans. I encourage Texas employers to offer teens this valuable opportunity to learn about the workplace and develop their skills,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Hope Andrade. “Local Workforce Solutions offices provide many opportunities to both job seekers and employers – including useful information on training programs – which may serve as a valuable resource for a teenager’s job search.”
Teens interested in job-search assistance and career resources should contact their local Workforce Solutions offices by visiting WorkInTexas.com. TWC also sponsors the TexasRealityCheck.com website which allows students to explore career options based on their interests, desired lifestyle and job availability in various areas. Older teens also may visit TexasInternship.jobs for free online job resources. To learn more about child labor laws, call TWC’s Labor Law Section at 800-832-9243 or 512-475-2670, or visit texasworkforce.org/customers/jsemp/employee-rights-laws.html.
Note: For information on this statistic visit bls.gov/webapps/legacy/cpsatab1.htm. (Note: Figures are not seasonally adjusted)
About Texas Workforce Commission
The Texas Workforce Commission is a state agency dedicated to helping Texas employers, workers and communities prosper economically. For details on TWC and the services it offers in coordination with its network of local workforce development boards, call 512-463-8942 or visit texasworkforce.org.