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Which Companies Hire at 16 and What Are the Regulations?

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Many people start working at a young age. In the U.S., with the right paperwork and parental consent, many states allow teenagers to start working at as young as 14 years old under certain conditions. For example, children who are even younger work in the entertainment industry and must follow even more restrictions. Which companies hire at 16?

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Child labor laws vary by state. For specific information, it's best to contact a specific state or government agency. There are some standards that can guide a minor to the right kind of employment. Various companies hire employees under the age of 18.

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Limitations until a worker turns 18

According to the Department of Labor, workers under the age of 18 are protected by child labor laws. The laws are enforced by the Wage and Hour division. This subsection of the government states that the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes a few standards for the working environment like minimum wage, overtime pay, and underage workers. 

The act also prevents minors from working in certain industries and fields. The FLSA prohibits them from working in professions that the Secretary of Labor has deemed "hazardous" including things like excavation or jobs that would require work with heavy machinery. 

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People between the ages of 16 and 18 are prohibited from working in fields that are considered dangerous to their health or well-being like jobs involving machinery, guns, and mining. Employees under the age of 16 have additional restrictions. Minors also can't run for any public office or work for a government agency.

The number of hours a minor can work is also restricted. The number of hours depends on certain factors like the person's age, the type of work, and whether they are in school. 

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Which companies hire at 16?

For teenagers, most of the available jobs are in the service industry. Many retail and foodservice employers hire minors regularly. As a result, it may be easiest to apply for jobs at a local mall or shopping center where there are a number of different opportunities.

Minors can also work for a family business. The FLSA has exemptions that say that minors under the age of 16 whose parents or guardians work in a business that is solely their own and in a non-agricultural field don't have the same restrictions as other employees. They can work for any number of hours at any time of the day. Restrictions are also in place for performers, newspaper delivers, and self-employment. 

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companies hire young adults and teenagers
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Teenagers benefit from working

Teenagers have a lot to gain from entering the workforce. One of the most common reasons is that entering the workforce gives them work experience. Being able to build a resume and work history can be a plus for future employers and help teenagers develop the kinds of interpersonal skills that will help them in the future. 

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Market Watch says that low-level retail and fast-food jobs have the highest turnover rates. Usually, these positions don't require too much experience. They're a great option for teenagers who are just entering the workforce. Earning a paycheck can also give teenagers a sense of accomplishment and independence. 

Companies benefit from hiring teenagers

According to American Express, companies also benefit from hiring teenagers. Since teenagers are new to the workforce, they're usually okay with working for minimum wage and going without some of the benefits that more experienced workers require. Also, some states like New York give tax credits to businesses that hire younger workers. 

Younger people have new ideas, see the world in a different way, and bring a different perspective to the workforce. 

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