Youth Subsidizing Parents' Low-Wage Jobs

Low-wage workers are speaking up these days and organizing for better wages and working conditions. For lots of good reasons, including that when parents have to accommodate whatever demands employers make, it means their children do too. Millions of working parents have job schedules that keep them from being home for homework, dinner-time talk, bed-time rituals – the most basic care all youngsters need. Drawing on more than 100 studies and sources, the report “How Youth Are Put At Risk by Parents’ Low-Wage Jobs” provides an interdisciplinary research overview of what is known about the relationship between the status of youth and their parents’ low-wage jobs. 

Lisa Dodson and Randy Albelda point to the ways in which low wages coupled with lack of control over work time leads to how lack of time and income create serious problems for youth, including higher drop-out rates, increased health risks, and youth taking on adult roles diverting their attention for schooling, exrtra-curricular activites, and personal development. The authors argue for greater collaboration among those who advocate and set policies at the intersections of parents' jobs and youth development, more attention to improving the quality of low-wage jobs, and improved out-of-school resources for low-income youth.