Teens are missing out on jobs. And your state could be to blame.

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As the end of the school year approaches, this summer break won’t be as rewarding as it should be for millions of teenagers. Most states block teens from finding their first job and best path in life.

Fortunately, some states have started to break these barriers, but more should follow suit. Every teenager deserves to discover the lifelong benefits that come with early work.

The idea of the working teenager is as old as America itself, but now they are increasingly rare. Only 36% of those ages 16 to 19 participated in the labor force at the end of 2021, down from almost 60% in the late 1970s.