By Gabe Thornber
Student lives are changing. Ever since the COVID pandemic, we have seen a serious shift in how the world is run. There is one change that will drastically affect high school students. This will continue to change the high school norm and everyday lives, and that is the change in student employment. All across America, jobs are opening with positions available for young adults.
Following the recent labor shortage, employers are almost always looking for new hires. Therefore, they found the easiest source of easy labor was the teenage workforce. Jobs in the restaurant industry and retail industry are even reaching out specifically to teens, due to their ability to manage physical labor and withstand stressful situations.
According to Jae Fast ,’23, an employee at Windcrest Senior Living, they are “practically always” hiring new teenagers.
Due to this shift in labor, there are many more opportunities in the workforce for teenagers. Alongside Windcrest Senior Living, there are jobs being offered to teenagers 18 and under at places like Gunther Toody’s, The Melting Pot, Checkmate Moving Agency and many more. Almost all teenagers, if interested, could work at a variety of different places and earn anywhere between $14 to $20 an hour. This is a huge shift from years before the pandemic. The bureau of labor statistics says that in 2019, about 19.2% of high school students had a place in the workforce. Now, in 2022, it has risen to about 31%. This is a major change.
However, there are some high school students who are content without a job, regardless of all these new opportunities. Alvaro Cabrera ,’24, an unemployed student says he avoids employment because “school work is overwhelming.”
Because of these difficulties, it is hard for many students to pursue a part time job. Because of the mental duress of school and time management of extracurricular activities, committing to employment can be difficult. Consequently, it is hard for employers to hire their desired amount of workers.
Josephine Erickson ,’24, a student who was recently hired at Yankee Candle after searching for a job, states that she found a hiring employer “fairly easily.” Erickson also states, “I plan on balancing school and work by only working a couple hours a week. That way, I can still prioritize my schoolwork.”
Jobs with flexible hours are a great way for students to manage both work and school. This shift in employers’ focus towards teenagers is an opportunity for students who want to make money and contribute to the workforce. Change is happening before our eyes, and soon we might see many more teenagers and students working everyday jobs.