Teen takeover in the workforce

Nic Gulizia, Editor

As summer approaches, many high school students seek new job opportunities to make some extra money. For some, a job could provide extra spending money for new shoes, clothes, or snacks. But, for others, getting a job is necessary to help prepare for college and the future.

“[I need a] car and [am preparing for] college. I’m trying to move out when I’m 18,” junior Christian Gonzalez said. “I’m invested in my future right now as a 16-year-old.”

Plenty of teens already have their future all planned out, and a job can help make that transition past high school a little easier.

More and more teens are applying for jobs during the summer, and employment has been rising for the first time in a while. This past summer, the jobless teen rate was at its lowest since 1953, at 9.6%, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. That’s the lowest it’s been in almost 70 years. 

Teenagers are joining the workforce and filling the worker gap that companies have been experiencing since the beginning of the pandemic.  

“People lost their jobs, and now [companies] they’re looking for new people. So I think [jobs] they’re filling up more than ever, as of right now,” Gonzalez said.

Teenagers aren’t just looking for just any job, though. New workers want to be in the best situation possible while making good money.

“Fast food would be the best job for summer because they are always hiring, and it is a good beginning job,” junior Jennifer Gonzalez Loza said. She works for her uncle’s company as an administrative assistant, managing expenses and papers. 

She also believes that jobs will fill up as summer arrives, considering teens may get bored with nothing to do during the summer and can work to fill that time. 

Working can take up a large portion of the day, however. A traditional 9-5 job, almost every day in summer, would take up most of the day, something many teens wouldn’t enjoy.

Would some students be willing to sacrifice their time to make extra money during the long summer days? C. Gonzalez seems to think so.

“I’m a productive person,” C. Gonzalez said. “If I were a normal person, I probably wouldn’t be interested in working. Most [of] the time during my summer, I’m not doing [anything], so I want to be doing as much [more].”

Other high school students may not feel the same way. Some teens would rather enjoy their summer than spend it all day at their job. 

Joey Ryan, junior, referees flag football games on Sundays. “I enjoy working on my job because it’s pretty quick. It’s just one Sunday,” Ryan said. “I have to work like 5 hours, and then I’m out, just one day per week.”

Working long hours during summer days is not in his best interest. However, Ryan thinks teenagers should work shorter hours to, “fulfill those summer days you have with your friends, [and] to hang out.”

Teenagers are becoming more prominent in the work industry. Jobs are finally filling up again, many of the applicants being teens. As students progress into grown adults, having money is crucial for the generation’s future. Why not start now?