Labor shortage leaves great opportunities for teens to find work

With students out for the summer, many are in the best position, in a long time, to land a summer job. The post-pandemic labor shortage may be a great opportunity for teens.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics are already seeing more working-teens now than at any time since 2008; about one out of every three. With roughly two million open leisure, hospitality and retail jobs nationwide, teens and young adults may be in a perfect position.

A walk through most retail area, shows consumers are coming back, and businesses are struggling to meet the growing demand. Help Wanted signs are a common feature, at the front door. While older workers may remain reluctant to return to their jobs, younger workers are answering the call.

"It is absolutely the perfect time to enter the job market for the very first time," says Workforce Solutions' Michelle Castrow, "If you're a teen or a young adult, definitely take advantage of this opportunity."


On Galveston Island, the Pleasure Pier is a perfect example. Closed during the pandemic, the amusement attraction has resumed operations, but still needs to hire about a hundred people before it's fully staffed for an expected busy-season.

With wages that start at $10 dollars an hour, going up with experience and skills, they expect teens to fill a lot of those spots.

"As the state became fully online, back in March, we just had a reduced staff from what we've had, normally, at that time," says Pleasure Pier General Manager Joe Zdunek, "So, its getting that gap from March and filling-back all those positions."


With the demand is often quick gratification for job seekers. That includes, for some, on-the-spot interviews and job offers with competitive pay.

"There are plenty of openings and employers are paying well," says Castrow, "They recognize that the wages do make a difference."

For employers hiring young people, there's a gamble that the labor shortage may lighten-up by the time kids go back to school. Still, that leaves a great opportunity for teens to earn some money, learn some life skills and get some experience.

For those looking to apply, be ready to interview, dress the part, and remember that 'flexibility and reliability' can be a couple of your greatest strengths.