July 18, 2000
Among youths aged 15 in 1995-97, 38 percent held an "employee" job—defined as an ongoing relationship with a particular employer. By a wide margin, cashier was the most common occupation among 15-year-old females with employee jobs; by a small margin, cook was the most common job for males.
Cashier was the occupation of the longest-held job for 16 percent of the female youths with employee jobs. In comparison, the next most common occupations were waiters and waitresses and general office clerks, at 6 percent each. Rounding out the top 5 occupations for 15-year-old females were sales workers (other commodities) and miscellaneous food occupations, at 5 percent apiece.
Of the male youths with employee jobs, 8 percent worked as cooks in their longest-held job, while 7 percent held positions as janitors and cleaners. The next most common jobs for males were miscellaneous food occupations, waiters’ and waitresses’ assistants, and cashiers, at 6 percent each.
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 Chapter 3 of the Report on the Youth Labor Force.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Common occupations for 15-year-olds: cashiers and cooks on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2000/jul/wk3/art02.htm (visited November 28, 2015).
Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.