Working for Pay
Parents of children aged 12 and older were asked whether their children worked outside the home for pay in the past week, and if so, how many hours their children had worked for pay in the past week.1 Overall, 36.0 percent of children aged 12-17 years had worked for pay; the parents of those who did work outside the home reported that their children worked an average of 8.8 hours. Working for pay was slightly more common among adolescents in large rural areas than in urban areas; 40.0 percent of those in large rural areas worked for pay, compared to 35.3 percent of urban adolescents.
The percentage of adolescents who work at least 10 hours a month for pay was higher among children from higher-income households, and this discrepancy was greater in rural than in urban areas. In large rural areas, the percentage of adolescents who work at least 10 hours a month was nearly twice as high among those with household incomes of 400 percent of the Federal poverty level or more as among those with household incomes below the poverty level (16.2 and 8.3 percent).
1 The question asked in 2007 was not comparable to the 2003 National Survey of Children’s Health, and has resulted in higher estimates. Estimates from 2003 and 2007 should not be compared.