Just as we inform you that department stores are planning to ride out the recession by leveraging teen spending, it is being reported that teens are becoming more thrifty. The change in behavior is being attributed not only to the coolness derived from thrift store finds, but also because teens are beginning to feel belt tightening at home and at work.

Teen hiring has dropped 5%, a much larger decline than the job market overall. This dip is attributed to the pressure local stores are feeling as part of the economic slowdown. At the same time as are teens discovering paychecks harder to find, parents are also cutting back on extras and allowance. These combined factors have high end retailers like Abercrombie and American Eagle reporting lower profit expectations, though Aeropostale and discount chain Steve and Barry's are expected to do well.

As someone who has had a job since a few weeks before I could legally work in my state, I worry about the trouble many teens may have as they try to find summer work. The jobs I had over the years were useful for many things other than getting spending money, including experience, adding to my maturity and building savings for college. I hope that there is an upswing in teen hiring as schools let out and that teens will put some of their summer paycheck in the bank or towards school payments. If teen hiring continues to decline through the summer months, business could get really tough for retailers whose niche is the teen market.

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