Sending your kid off for the summer to relatives who live where there's work may seem extreme but may be her best shot. "We're seeing huge geographic variability in teen employment," says Sum. "About half of all kids in farm belt states had work last summer, and in Minnesota, Kansas, Iowa, and Wisconsin, it was as high as 60 to 65 percent, and we expect that to happen again this year. But in states like California, New York, or New Jersey, we are forecasting that it will be more like 25 percent." Currently, large cities with low unemployment rates include Des Moines; Honolulu; Little Rock, Arkansas; New Orleans; Oklahoma City; Portland, Maine; and Rochester, Minnesota.