The job market is tough in this country, even for the most experienced workers. Imagine how difficult it would be if you were a teenager or a young adult trying to get your fit in the door for your first job. Unfortunately, summer 2011 could go down as one of the most difficult times for youth to find a job. A recent study shows that only one in four teens will actually be hired this summer. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and businesses across the nation are joining forces to help counter this dire outlook.

An entire section of the DOL website is dedicated to providing employment opportunities to teens and young adults – Summer Jobs USA. The program is geared towards low-income youth between the ages of 16 and 24. Landing a summer job provides a host of benefits to young adults and these benefits go beyond the simple financial boost that comes with a new job.

When teens and young adults spend their summer days working in a productive environment, gaining new life and work skills and learning about future careers, they are less likely to get involved with criminal activities or general mischievousness. After a summer filled with positive work experiences and positive life models, these youth are more likely to either continue working or pursue their educational goals.

If you own a business, are an elected official or manage a nonprofit organization, the DOL is asking that you make a commitment to hire low-income youth this summer. Whether you have one job opening or 10,000, you can visit the DOL website and make your commitment. Once you make a commitment, interested youth will be able to view your job listing on the website.

The DOL website already has thousands of job opportunities listed including 10,000 positions with the U.S. Department of the Interior, 5,000+ with the City of Boston, 1,500 with UPS and one opening with Maynard Consulting Services in Los Angeles, California. As you can see, whether you have one opening or thousands, the DOL wants your commitment to help provide meaningful employment opportunities to low-income youth this summer.