Working for Pay
Parents of children aged 12-17 years were asked whether their children worked for pay in the past week, and if so, how many hours their children had worked for pay in the past week.* Overall, 36.0 percent of children aged 12-17 years had worked for pay; the parents of those who did work for pay reported that their children worked an average of 8.8 hours.
Overall, 11.5 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds worked for pay for at least 10 hours a week. Children aged 12-17 years whose households had incomes below the Federal poverty level (FPL) were least likely to have worked 10 or more hours for pay in the past week (7.4 percent), compared to children in higher-income households. Children in households with incomes between 200 and 399 percent of FPL were most likely to have worked (13.0 percent), followed by 12.1 percent of those with household incomes of 400 percent or more of FPL, and 11.3 percent of those with incomes between 100 and 199 percent of FPL.
The percentage of children working outside the home for pay for 10 or more hours in the past week also varied by race and ethnicity. Among children aged 12-17 years, White children were the most likely to have worked for pay for at least 10 hours (13.4 percent), followed by multiracial children (10.3 percent), and Black children (9.6 percent). Hispanic children and children of other races were least likely to have worked 10 or more hours in the past week (8.2 and 8.1 percent, respectively).
*The question asked in 2007 was rephrased since the 2003 National Survey of Children's Health, resulting in higher estimates. 2003 and 2007 estimates should not be compared.