CBS news reports that the unemployment rate in California is currently 11.1 percent. The lagging economy has put stress on many household budgets, and teens in record numbers are looking for work to contribute to the family. Sacramento based SETA, a organization that helps young people find work, reports that the number of teenagers they have seen come through their offices has doubled over the past three years.
California currently has the second highest unemployment rate for teenagers, behind Washington, D.C., at 35%. Eighteen year old Melissa Zarate works 15 hours a week at a thrift store to help her mom pay the PG&E bill each month. Her mother said that it was Melissa’s idea to get a job after seeing her mother struggle to make ends meet each month. Although she doesn’t make a lot, Melissa said it feels good to be able to help, and she is happy to have a job after spending over a year looking. She said that many of her friends are also looking for work, but that it is a long process.