Helping teens get ahead in the gig economy

A new app is helping thousands of teens find work in the gig economy. 

It's called Skratch, reports CBS New York, and it's geared toward young people who don't have time for a steady job because of school and extracurricular activities.

The app works with adults listing services they need, like child care or tutoring. Teens take on a gig if they're free. 

"I only did it on the weekends or in the summer," Alec Barath, a 17-year-old, told reporter Danielle Nottingham. "I never had time to really, like, balance it with my school stuff."

Barath spent some time playing with two kids whose mother, Amy Sandler, posted on the app asking for child care help. He also took on another gig setting up an iPad, a task that he said was "second nature" to him.

The app comes out at a time that the rate of teens participating in the workforce is dropping, with just 34 percent of teens participating, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  

Scott Bennett, the app's co-founder, said he sees the app as a way for teens to earn money and gain skills without needing to commit to a job long-term. He's also responding to an economy where, he said, traditional jobs are becoming less relevant. 

"That's how the world is working today. Blocks of time—work—not jobs," he said.

Teens have to be at least 14 to sign up and get their parents' permission, and all users must pass a background check.

There are about 4,500 users currently on the app, the company said. Skratch is only available in Dallas but the app's founder has plans to expand to other cities.