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YouthRules! for youth employment

Woman sitting in front of a computer.

Summer is the hottest season for teen workers, with many young people diving into the Nation’s labor pool each June and July. Whatever the season, the U.S. Department of Labor can help you navigate the waters of youth employment.

The department’s YouthRules! Web site helps increase public awareness of Federal and State rules concerning young workers. The site—available in both English and Spanish—provides teens, parents, educators, and employers with information about which jobs young workers are allowed to hold and what hours they are allowed to work. There is also information on preventing workplace injuries.

The Web site includes summaries of Federal rules for different workers in various age groups. An interactive map links to the sites for individual States, which may impose additional rules. Awareness of laws can help you narrow and focus a job search; for example, workers under age 18 are allowed to hold most jobs in a shopping mall, but none in a coal mine.

The Web site also contains a compliance-assistance section for employers, which includes links to information regarding young workers. And a variety of educational materials, such as posters, bookmarks, and stickers, may be ordered or printed directly from the site.

Visit or write to the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division, Frances Perkins Building, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington DC 20210; call toll-free, 1 (866) 4–USWAGE (487–9243); or send an email via

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Learn more, work more

Education is a great career investment, data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) confirm. Among 22-year-olds surveyed for the BLS National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997, those with more education were most likely to be employed. (The National Longitudinal Survey data measure labor market and other activities of a group of people over time. The group has been surveyed 12 times since 1997.)

Data from the survey show that 88 percent of college graduates were employed at age 22, compared with 58 percent of high school dropouts. For women, the disparity is even more pronounced: 90 percent of female college graduates were employed at age 22, versus 49 percent of high school dropouts.

For a detailed discussion of the National Longitudinal Survey data, see Or, write to the BLS National Longitudinal Survey Program, 2 Massachusetts Avenue NE., Suite 4945, Washington, DC 20212; call (202) 691–7410; or email

Most of these respondents were surveyed before December 2007, when the Nation entered a recession. Data from other sources, however, also show the benefits of educational attainment. See, for example, the OOChart in this issue of the Quarterly.

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Arboreal occupations: 50 careers in trees

Dollar bills folded into upward pointing arrows.

If you want to combine your passion for trees with your occupation, knock on wood: The Tree Foundation of Kern County, California, has career information for you.

The Foundation, a nonprofit that promotes urban and community forestry, has compiled a list of 50 occupations related to trees. Some of the occupations listed, such as accountant, are defined loosely in their relation to trees. But others, such as arborist, are more tree-centric.

Clicking on an occupation links to its description, each of which includes a broad discussion of the occupation, and, in some cases, workers’ insights and observations. All entries discuss the tree-specific aspects of the occupation. The information for writers, for example, mentions career options of writing magazine articles about trees and tree care or composing press releases for tree-planting organizations.

To see the foundation’s list, go to And for more detailed occupational information—including job duties, employment outlook, training requirements, earnings, and more—about the tree careers you see there, visit the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook, online at

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Jazzy tuition, competition, and instruction

Students taking turns looking through a microscope.

Do you dream of a career with syncopation? A vocation in improvisation? If so, the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz wants to help nurture that dream.

The institute, named for the American jazz pianist and composer (1917–1982), is a nonprofit organization that focuses on training musicians and promoting instruction in jazz. Among its offerings are a scholarship-award jazz performance program, an international jazz competition, and an Internet-based jazz curriculum for grades 5, 8, and 11.

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U.S. Department of Labor
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Last Updated: September 29, 2010