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As U.S. employers struggle to fill jobs, teens come to the rescue

15 Comments
By PAUL WISEMAN and JOSEPH PISANI

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15 Comments
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The invisible hand of the free market at work. When the supply of labor is lower than the demand for labor, the price of said labor will rise.

Good for lower skilled workers and good life experience for the teens. I personally had a job every summer and winter vacation from that age of 14. I learned some important lessons about the dignity of work and the satisfaction of a pay check.

I do have to say that while I was heartily in favor of supplemental unemployment benefits during the height of the pandemic, I think it is about time to wind them down. Anyone can get vaccinated, there is no longer a massive loss of jobs and people can work should work.

Full Disclosure: I also support human infrastructure investment that would allow mothers and those caring for elderly parents , overwhelmingly women, to more easily rejoin the workforce.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

-the company lowered its minimum working age to 15.

Why not lower it to 12? If Victorian kids could clean chimneys and work in factories, modern kids can carry trays, wash dishes and deliver packages.

Quit freeloading on your parents. Pocket money doesn't grow on trees. Get out there and earn it.

Learning to prioritise is a good life lesson. Work pays real money. Your schoolteachers are never going to end the week by handing you an envelope of cash.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Teens have always filled employment spots for restaurants, tourism and entertainment businesses in the summer. Nothing new here.

Older Americans who typically earned 2-5x more can't afford to take lower paying jobs or their retirement benefits will be negatively impacted.

Everyone in my family worked. I had a lawn mowing business (subsidized by Dad's lawn equipment) from age 10. We moved and I got a job delivering newspapers in the next location. We moved again and I got another job delivering newspapers even more newspapers. At 15, I got certified in lifesaving and got a job as a lifeguard at a local pool - wasn't even paid minimum wage there, but lots and lots of hours. Winter came - got a job washing dishes and did that until the pool opened again. Did the food/lifeguard thing all the way through high school with 1 summer detasseling corn (hot, dirty, work) and another packing and shipping for a pipe fitting factory. 4inch - 39inch PVC pipe fittings. Seeing all the people working in the factory (some with wives and 2 kids) provided all the incentive I needed to keep studying at University.

I think everyone should work for any pay, including govt subsistence programs. 20% of the workers should be caring for the kids, 20% in training, and 40% working in jobs that will get them real jobs in the future. Welfare needs a program that trains people not to be on welfare more than 3-4 yrs. Every 15 yr old should be offered a long-term, 10 yr, deeply inserted, contraceptive. Children having babies is the quickest way to get someone onto welfare. If you can't take care of yourself, you have no business having a child.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I hope you are joking....but it's early and I still haven't had my 3rd coffee yet so just in case......

Victorian kids were also sold as "apprentices" by their parents, but in actuality they were slaves who didn't receive any or much of the income they generated. They tended to die before the age of 40, usually due to respiratory diseases developed as a direct result from working up chimneys. They weren't 12, they were usually around 6 years of age and they grew up stunted and deformed due to the unnatural position they toiled in all day.

But sure, lets get these kids working in shitty jobs.....I mean, we wouldn't want to teach em about having fun or that life is actually for living and not for drudgery and toil.

Good to hear that places in the US are now raising their shitty wages. A waiter or barman shouldn't have to rely on the gratuity of customers to earn a decent wage. The onus should be on the employer to pay their employees a fair wage for a fair days work. Any thanks given by the customer should simply be a bonus on top. The tip system (with shitty actual wages) is disgusting.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Good! AMERICAN teens getting jobs! No better way to learn about the value of labor and money.

Now, if the higher paying/skilled labor jobs would also grow, that would be much better.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The GOP leadership says that the "labor shortage" is due to all of the people who've decided not to work because of the $1400 stimulus checks that the government has issued. Wonder what they'd say if they bore 45's signature... there have been roughly 3M jobs created or restored since Biden was elected, and more people than ever are changing jobs, which tend to be found in urban and suburban areas. Unemployment is much more an issue in rural areas, where there is both a shortage of both labor and jobs.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Easy solution to not being able to find employees, offer more.

There is a pretty well known company out of Seattle (not sure if I can name companies like that here). CEO took a massive paycut to guarantee a $70k/year min wage plus benefits for every person there. He was ridiculed by the capitalist establishment at the time.

Company has been incredibly successful since then, posting record profits. They still have hundreds of applications anytime they post a job opening.

People are willing to work, people are not willing to work for just above slave wages. The issue isn't, and has never been, with the supply of labour.

So businesses are offering signing bonuses and whatever else they can to hire teens in a hurry.

Signing bonuses are almost a scam versus getting a guaranteed increase in pay year to year. I suppose if you only want to hire somebody on a very short term it can work.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

That's good money! I earned 2.15 an hour flipping burgers back in the day.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The land of the free market!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Why do a low paid, crappy job when the government will give you money to sit on your backside. If the teens were eligible for the same handouts you can be sure they would not "come to the rescue".

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The GOP leadership says that the "labor shortage" is due to all of the people who've decided not to work because of the $1400 stimulus checks that the government has issued. Wonder what they'd say if they bore 45's signature...

We are not talking about only part-time jobs, we need full-time as well which are harder to fill and where blue States have the hardest time filling them because many people in these States are still receiving unemployment benefits but most of the Red States terminated unemployment payments early.

there have been roughly 3M jobs created or restored since Biden was elected, and more people than ever are changing jobs, which tend to be found in urban and suburban areas.

That depends, that is not entirely true, the majority of people that work in the fossil industry have not and won't especially the ones that have a long history of 3-6 generation workers and one major reason is where many of these people live, they own homes, pay mortgages, own land, not that easy or thousands won't.

https://www.businessinsider.com/unemployment-declining-faster-states-ending-300-weekly-federal-benefits-2021-6

Unemployment is much more an issue in rural areas, where there is both a shortage of both labor and jobs.

And this is a huge problem for this admin that will come back to bite them and very soon...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

But sure, lets get these kids working in shitty jobs.....I mean, we wouldn't want to teach em about having fun or that life is actually for living and not for drudgery and toil.

Good to hear that places in the US are now raising their shitty wages. A waiter or barman shouldn't have to rely on the gratuity of customers to earn a decent wage. The onus should be on the employer to pay their employees a fair wage for a fair days work. Any thanks given by the customer should simply be a bonus on top. The tip system (with shitty actual wages) is disgusting.

This should not be getting downvotes. Having an economy based on child labor and the kindness of strangers while business owners ride free and can pay non living wages is a horrific capitalist atrocity.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Those teens that will fill the opening restaurant jobs etc, are the unaccompanied minors that has arrived illegally into the country. Don't believe the hype, americans who are not working are doing so because the wage are not enough to live on but unemployment pay more than a working wage. This is what the Biden administration created. The quality of life has deteriorated badly with lots of crime, drugs, illegals, and homelessness. Who wants to work when every penny they make goes into living expen

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

The result is that teens who are willing to bus restaurant tables or serve as water-park lifeguards are commanding $15, $17 or more an hour, plus bonuses in some instances or money to help pay for school classes.

This is excellent money for teens who want to work. It shows the US does not need a federally mandated $15 an hour minimum wage or whatever.

And teens who work these jobs hopefully will be less likely to get involved in crime; rampant especially in blue states that are still screaming to defund the police in light of the recent violence.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Burger King and McDs don't hire illegal immigrants. I've seen what I assume to be illegal immigrants working at non-chain restaurants. A chain has too much to lose to risk getting caught with illegal workers. And when was $13/hr not great money for a teen?

I was paid $3.35/hr as a lifeguard with a WSI certificate.

Being lazy is a problem for all ages. I won't pretend to say that someone laid off from a $100/hr job should take a job for $20/hr. There are other considerations like the cost of child care and what doing a lower paying job can do do SS benefits which are based on the last 10 yrs of wages while working. If you don't work a lower paying job, then your SS benefits won't be reduced. Depending on age, this could make good sense.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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