Teen Workers Are in High Demand for Summer and Commanding Better Pay - NBC Bay Area
Teens have long been vital to filling out the summertime staffs of restaurants, ice cream stands, amusement parks and camps.
Now, thanks to one of the tightest labor markets in decades, they have even more sway, with an array of jobs to choose from at ever higher wages.
To ease the labor crunch, some states are moving to roll back restrictions to let teens work more hours and, in some cases, more hazardous jobs — much to the chagrin of labor rights groups, who see it as a troubling trend.
Economists say there are other ways to expand the workforce without putting more of a burden on kids, including by allowing more legal immigration.
Seeking teen workers
At Funtown Splashtown USA, an amusement park in southern Maine, teens play a critical role in keeping the attractions open, which isn't as easy as it used to be.
General Manager Cory Hutchinson anticipates hiring about 350 workers this summer, including many local high schoolers, compared with more than 500 in past summers.
U.S. & World
“We literally do not have enough people to staff the place seven days a week and into the evenings,” he said. This summer, Funtown Splashtown will only be open six days a week, and will close at 6 p.m., instead of 9 p.m.
In April, nearly 34% of Americans aged 16 to 19 had jobs, according to government data. That compares with 30% four years ago, the last pre-pandemic summer.
More jobs are available for those who want them: There are roughly 1.6 jobs open for every person that is...
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