Market Overview

Bureau of Labor Statistics Releases Summer Data Showing Continued 30-Year Decline in Teen Workers — Mobile Platform, Skratch, Gets Teens Back to Work


The most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data, released last week,
continues to paint a dismal picture of youth employment trends. After
three decades of rapid and dramatic decline in teens working, two
entrepreneurs are creating a new way for teens to connect to work with Skratch,
a mobile platform that enables teens to participate in the gig economy.

While there was a slight uptick in youth participation in the workforce
during summer 2018, the overall participation of youth in today's labor
market continues to be down. Summer youth labor force participation
peaked in July 1989 at 77.5 percent and has trended down since. This
year, 55 percent of young people were employed over the summer.

"It's not that teens are lazy. That's a very common misperception," said
Scott Bennett, co-founder and CEO of Skratch. "To the contrary, they're
overworked with non-paying, college application-building commitments, to
their detriment. Work experience pays dividends in the development of
critical life skills like accountability, financial management and
people skills."

The Skratch solution

Ronen Akiva is Skratch's co-founder and CTO. At 16, his son was ready to
work. He had a social life; he wanted a pick up a little scratch to pay
for it. But commitments through school left little time for the
requisite four-hour shift at the mall or a restaurant. Recognizing the
value of work experience, Akiva and Bennett hatched the idea for Skratch.

Studies show that teens working is of critical importance. Employment
Policy Institute research shows clear evidence that part-time work as a
high school senior translates to future career benefits including:
higher hourly wages, increased annual earnings, and less time spent out
of work. The Harvard Graduate School of Education now advocates that
colleges place more weight on students' contributions to communities and
less on academic achievements when making admissions decisions.

How Skratch works

Skratch connects teens with odd jobs within their zip codes. (Currently
in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.) Job "sponsors" post a need through
the app. They're given a host of categories to choose from - pet care,
work with kids (creative arts, tutoring, coaching, etc.), household
jobs, tech support, event support and more. They then are matched with
teens in the area who are qualified and available. Sponsors are subject
to safety screening. Teens are rated by previous job sponsors who can
also provide feedback to and on the teen. Likewise, the teen worker can
rate the job sponsor.

Built from scratch, today Skratch has over 8,000 users and has been met
with rave reviews. Teens are happily earning scratch and developing
valuable life sills. Job sponsors are thrilled to have on-demand access
to inexpensive support for scratching things off of their to-do lists.

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