News Roundup

News Roundup

help_wantedSummer Job Prospects Dim for Teens

Young adults may have to exercise a bit of creativity when it comes to earning cash this summer, according to a study released by Challenger, Gray, and Christmas Inc. this week.

Fewer than 1 million 16- to 19-year-olds will find summer jobs this year, the lowest in 55 years, according Challenger’s labor report, which analyzed non-seasonally adjusted data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“The types of jobs teens typically seek in retail and food service are being eliminated as consumer spending plummets,” said John A. Challenger, CEO of the global outplacement consultancy firm.  Furthermore, competition has grown stiff for remaining jobs as out of work, more experienced job seekers vie for the same positions, despite being overqualified, he said.

Last year, employment among teens grew by 1.15 million between May and July, a rate that was 29% slower growth than in 2007.  In March 2009, almost five million teens were employed, an 11% drop compared to the same time in last year.

–Renita Burns

China Volleyball Team Gets First Black Player

soccer_ball_6For the first time in its history, China’s national volleyball team will have a black player.

Ding Hui, 20, will play as the first black player for the national squad, the China Volleyball Association announced last week. Ding, of South African and Chinese heritage, plays the libero — or defensive — position.

The national team’s head coach Zhou Jian’an, had kept an eye on Ding since before he caught the public’s attention in 2007 at the World Youth Championships in Mexico, where Hui’s team took second place. At the time Zhou was impressed but thought Ding was too young to play in the Beijing Olympics of 2008. Now Ding will join his team in training for the London Olympics in 2012.

“We pick players for their ability and to meet the needs of the team as a whole,” Zhou said in an interview with the China Daily newspaper. “He’s no different from the other players. They are all Chinese.”

Ding wants to build his reputation on his on-court performance and not on his appearance. However his team and coaches view him or how he wants to be viewed has not stopped media from singling him out because of his race. One of China’s biggest Internet portals described his main characteristics as having “Black skin, thick lips, and big white teeth,” according the United Kingdom’s The article also stated that his bloodline is the reason for his “pliability, toughness, and agility.”

Raised on the east coast of Hangzhou, an industrial city and the capital of China’s Zhejiang province, Ding was shy and introverted because he looked different, says his mother Yu Jianxiu. It was volleyball that broke him out of his cocoon, she says.

Marcia A. Wade