NBC

Students Choosing Internships Over Traditional Summer Jobs

Teen labor force participation has decreased significantly since the late 1970s, statistics show

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Bruce Bennett/Getty Images, File

Long gone is the classic summer job stint at the local ice cream store, as students increasingly turn to internships and research opportunities in the summer over traditional jobs, with many teenagers opting for hands-on work experience at large companies, according to NBC News.

Teen labor force participation was 43 percent in July 2016, down nearly 30 percent from its peak of 72 percent in July 1978, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The increasingly popular internship may be the most prominent factor, even though they can come with fewer hours and smaller paychecks than regular summer jobs.

Side jobs like Uber-driving and dog-walking allow students to make some money even if an internship is unpaid, according to Peter Harrison, CEO of the job search engine website Snagajob.

"Flexibility in shifts and schedules is super attractive to this [younger] workforce," Harrison said.

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