Working for Pay

Parents of children aged 12 and older were asked whether their children worked outside the home for pay in the previous week, and if so, how many hours their children had worked for pay in the previous week. Overall, 28.2 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 7.5 hours.

Children aged 12-17 years whose households had incomes below the Federal poverty level (FPL) were the least likely to have worked 10 or more hours for pay in the previous week (3.8 percent), compared to children with higher incomes. Children in households with incomes between 200 and 399 percent of FPL were most likely to have worked (10.1 percent), followed by 7.8 percent of those with household incomes between 100 and 199 percent of FPL and 7.5 percent of those with household incomes of 400 percent or more of FPL.

The percentage of children working outside the home for pay for 10 or more hours in the previous week also varied by race and ethnicity. Among children aged 12-17 years, non-Hispanic White children were the most likely to have worked for pay for at least 10 hours (10.3 percent), followed by 5.8 percent of non-Hispanic Black children, and 4.6 percent of non-Hispanic children of other races. Hispanic children were least likely to have worked 10 or more hours in the previous week (3.0 percent).