FOR many Long Island teens trying to land a job this summer, the season will be a disappointing one.

Even as the teen population grows, the number of job opportunities for them is dwindling or, at best, remains flat. Among the causes:

A sluggish economy and stubborn teen-unemployment rate of more than 25 percent;

Increased competition from high-school grads, college students and older, experienced workers;

And more Long Island teens between the ages of 15 and 19.

Not listed is the minimum wage, which prices teens out of the job market. Lower prices induce higher demand, which the primary reason firms such as groceries and other retailers uses sales to sell slower-moving merchandise. Same principle.