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Home > Blog > The Jobs, They Are a-Changin'
Out of Our Minds
Tuesday, April 25, 2006 12:46 PM
The Jobs, They Are a-Changin'
Kevin Salwen on In the News

To the list of jobs that are changing, add this one: paper boy. As recently as a decade ago, more than half the newspaper deliverers in the U.S. were under the age of 18. Now, that's shifted so dramatically that only 19% of deliverers are under 18.
 
To blame: the decline of afternoon newspapers, which don't require delivery before 6 a.m.  And the industry has become more centralized, with newspapers often consolidating their deliveries to the same address.   For consumers, there is little change, except possibly for having less opportunity to fish your paper out of your bushes from the bike-by fling or getting to pay the lad or lass each week.
 
But what's a teen hunting money to do? Maybe program your computer...


4 comments

jeff angus - 4/28/2006 11:20:32 AM
I think one of the other factors is that a lot of adults trying to maintain a middle- or lower-middle class lifestyle have to take on extra jobs, & they're going after the (shrinking in many places) paper routes as income enhancers (> 27% of families under the poverty line have two adults working at least full time). Of course as gas prices go up to ~3.49+ this summer, using an auto to deliver papers will become russian roulette with six bullets, methinks. If bikes become the only way to economically deliver papers, I suspect kids will get another crack at the work...where it exists..
J.B. - 4/25/2006 9:06:08 PM
There is a kid in our town in northern PA who for a fee loads people's iPods with their playlist. Kind of clever I think
Whitney - 4/25/2006 4:49:16 PM

Hmmm...kids can still mow lawns, wash cars, rake leaves in the fall, shovel driveways and sidewalks in the winter, help clean out garages and basements and attics, babysit, walk dogs.

On the techno-side, there's always people who need someone who can quickly enter stuff into PDAs, or even cell phone address books. I know lots of people who take awhile to get a real bang for their PDA buck because they can never find time or wherewithal to properly set it up.

There's still lots of stuff to be done out there if kids have the willingness, ingenuity, and assertiveness to knock on doors or leave flyers in mailboxes.

Janet Auty-Carlisle - 4/25/2006 2:00:41 PM
Hey Kevin, Funny, I was just writing about this for a workshop I am doing...my very first job was as a papergirl...rare in those days. My husband is from Belfast. He arrived in T.O. when he was 13. A week after he had arrived he had a paper route. Up early in the morning, cold, snow, rain, you name it he did it. Saved up enough money to give his mom the down-payment for their first home in Canada. That isn't possible now that's for sure. Me, I bought all my own clothes from the time I was 13. My parents couldn't afford to so I got the paper route and did it myself. My children have never had to buy their own clothes, at least not while they lived at home, nor have they had to take on such jobs. They are only now learning what that is like, which is lucky in some ways for them, and not so lucky in other ways. My son starts a job this week...door to door sales for the Humane Society. Not a job I would ever want to do but, hey, he needs money for university so I guess that's the present day "paper route" job for a guy his age....Living la vida fearless, Jan

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