U.S. organizations are hiring more and more teenagers for seasonal work in the service industries in the United States. With the help of young people, businesses are compensating for the shortage of foreign labor caused by the coronavirus, writes The New York Times.
The labor shortage problem worsened in the U.S. during the pandemic, when the flow of workers from overseas, who usually worked in agriculture, took seasonal jobs, virtually stopped. American entrepreneurs began to look for workers among the local population.
The luckiest age group to hire for seasonal jobs as amusement park operators, bar waiters and other positions in the spring of 2021 were teens, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The percentage of 16- to 19-year-olds working was 32.8 percent of all U.S. teenagers of that age, the highest since 2008 (when 34 percent of working teens were recorded). About 256,000 young people took jobs in April.
For employers, teens have become an important source of new workers, at a time when many American adults are unable to fill similar jobs because of health issues. In addition, older workers sometimes give up looking for work and rely entirely on unemployment benefits.
Northeastern University economist Alicia Sasser Modestino believes that the period when the U.S. economy is recovering from the coronary crisis provides unprecedented job opportunities for American teenagers. High school graduates, for example, can earn a car allowance through summer employment.
Some schoolteachers fear that the jobs will affect students’ academic performance. Economic studies show that the prospect of quick employment may also change the college and university plans of the younger generation, affecting their earnings in the long run.
Europe and Russia have also been threatened by a shortage of migrants as cheap labor in major sectors of the economy. The Kremlin acknowledges that guest workers alone are not enough to restore the country’s well-being and increase the level of GDP. Alexander Kalashnikov, head of the Federal Penitentiary Service, suggested that prisoners be employed at construction sites, as they did in Soviet times.