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Working while in school is the norm among older high school students. Nearly three out of every five students who were 16 years old when the 1997-98 school year began worked for an employer at some point during the academic year.
Among all students who were 16 at the start of the 1997-98 school year, 58 percent had an employee job during the academic year. Among female students, the proportion with an employee job was 60 percent, while among male students the proportion was slightly lower (57 percent).
Students in Grade 11 were considerably more likely to work for an employer during the school year than those in Grade 10. Of students who were 16 at the start of the fall term, 63 percent of those in Grade 11 held an employee job, compared with 50 percent of those in Grade 10.
Data on the employment experience and other characteristics of youths are a product of the National Longitudinal Surveys program. Note that jobs such as babysitting or yard work done on an as-needed basis or for multiple employers are considered to be "freelance" jobs rather than "employee" jobs. Additional information is available from "Employment Experience of Youths: Results from a Longitudinal Survey", news release USDL-353.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Most 16-year-old students work for pay at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2000/dec/wk1/art05.htm (visited March 30, 2023).