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Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Teenagers are stepping up to staff an economic comeback that's expected to kick into overdrive this summer.

Why it matters: A working teen renaissance is underway in America as businesses scramble to find employees.

  • Summer is always the most popular time for teens to get paying gigs, but the pace this year is eye-popping.
  • Roughly one-third of 16- to 19-year-olds were employed last month, according to the latest jobs report — the highest share since 2008.

Flashback: The adolescent labor market last peaked in the summer of 1978 when half of the teenage population was working.

  • It's fallen ever since. Typical summer gigs for at least some teenagers were increasingly replaced with volunteer work, school or unpaid internships.

What they're saying: A senior White House official said vaccinated younger workers could help fill the avalanche of job openings — once they "feel more comfortable about returning to public-facing jobs," like hotels or bars, Politico reported today.

There are already signs teens are helping release the pressure valve for leisure and hospitality — a sector with a record number of job openings.

  • The intrigue: Adults may have taken the place of teens during the last recession, but now those opportunities are going back to teen workers, staffing firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas said in a report this week.

One upshot: Teens are reaping the benefits of businesses desperate for workers — perks and higher pay, which might be necessary after an economically devastating year.

  • Small businesses have been hiking pay for teens in service sector jobs, payroll platform Gusto told the New York Times last month.

Go deeper

States that ended COVID unemployment benefits see no boost in job growth

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

States that ended federal unemployment benefits earlier this summer saw August job growth at less than half the rate of states that retained the benefits, according to new data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Why it matters: Leaders in the largely Republican-led states had insisted that the benefits were discouraging people from work, and ended the assistance program early ahead of its planned expiration on Sept. 6.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.