Some of these large industries were the same ones where the majority of working teenagers found employment. Of Oregon's approximately 28,400 working teens in 2010, nearly two-fifths found employment in leisure and hospitality, with nearly one in three teens in the food services sub-sector. Food services includes businesses ranging from full-service restaurants to fast food to caterers. One-fifth of working teens was in retail trade.
Retail trade and the leisure and hospitality industry both had a high concentration of younger workers in 2010, as shown in Graph 1. Among all industries, workers age 14 to 24 accounted for 14 percent of the workforce. In retail trade, however, they accounted for 24 percent, and in leisure and hospitality they accounted for 31 percent of the workforce. Both of these industries have a close-to-average portion of workers age 25 through 44, but a smaller-than-average portion of workers age 45 and older.
Leisure and hospitality and retail trade were not the only two industries where Oregon's teenagers chose to work in 2010. Although it takes a distant third, education and health services employed 9 percent of working teens, and professional and business services employed 7 percent. Natural resources and mining employed 6 percent of working teens. The other broad industries accounted for the remaining 17 percent of working teens.
Although it is difficult to determine exactly how much Oregon's teenage workers earned in 2010, the majority were likely below these industry averages. This is partially due to the federal and state laws that restrict how many hours teens can work, which dampen their earnings potential. As a group, young workers also tend to be relatively inexperienced and have fewer skills. Understandably, employers tend to pay them less than more experienced and/or skilled workers.
Thus, in leisure and hospitality, most teen workers probably made minimum wage ($8.50 an hour) in 2010. Retail wages were likely similar, although perhaps slightly higher, given the slightly higher average wage in this industry.
In agriculture, teen employment peaks in the summer, when 9 percent of working teens are in the industry, on average. In winter, only 4 percent of working teens are in the industry. This pattern follows the pattern of employment for all ages in agriculture, although the difference between employment in the summer and the rest of the year is more dramatic for teenagers. Among all ages, the portion of the workforce in agriculture varies only a little - from a low of 3 percent to a high of 6 percent.
Teenagers also show a seasonal employment pattern in leisure and hospitality - especially in the food services sub-sector. Like agriculture, leisure and hospitality sees the highest total number of teens employed during the summer. Unlike agriculture, the industry's summertime employment is also fairly high, especially compared to fall and winter (Graph 2). The teen employment pattern in this industry follows the average for all ages.
Teen employment in retail trade peaks at the end of the year, likely because companies hire additional workers during the busy holiday season. Each retail industry, however, has a slightly different employment pattern. For instance, more teens are employed at gas stations during the late summer and early fall, whereas teen employment at clothing, electronic, and department stores peaks at the end of the year. Food and beverage stores see heightened teen employment during both spring and summer.
One of the few differences was that a slightly higher portion of rural teens worked in leisure and hospitality, and in natural resources and mining. Urban teens were slightly more likely than rural teens to work in education and health services, professional and business services, and retail trade. Overall, about the same portion of working teens in both urban and rural areas found employment in leisure and hospitality or retail trade.
Overall, Oregon's workforce was 52 percent male in 2010. Among Oregon's teenagers, however, only 45 percent of workers were male. Nevertheless, there were a few industries where young men represent well over half of the teen employment. These industries were transportation, construction, natural resources and mining, wholesale trade, and manufacturing (Graph 3). Industries where well above half of the teen workers were female included education and health services, financial activities, and leisure and hospitality, and other services.
Almost across the board, these same industries showed a gender imbalance in the total workforce. The imbalance, however, tended to be more aggravated among all ages than among working teens. In manufacturing, for instance, about 73 percent of total employment was male. Among teen workers, only 60 percent was male. In education and health services, women accounted for 75 percent of all workers, but only 68 percent of teen workers.
There were two industries with notable differences between the teen workforce and all ages: other services and information. Employment in other services was about 60 percent female among the teen workforce, but it was almost evenly split in the general population. Employment in information tilted slightly towards women (57%) in the teen workforce, but was male dominated (63%) among all ages.