Teen unemployment at historic low

Teen unemployment at historic low
Published: Nov. 12, 2021 at 6:12 PM EST
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PERRYSBURG, Ohio (WTVG) - Amid a nationwide labor shortage, an unlikely group has stepped up to ease the burden: teenagers. Youth unemployment has been at a historic low since May, and Ohio lawmakers have taken notice.

At Penta Career Center, students are encouraged to work in their field, but students across the country are getting jobs.

“I think having a job outside of school can really teach you how to manage your time and how to increase your work ethic,” says Penta senior Katelyn Hawker.

Hawker is in Penta’s Culinary Arts Program.

“I get to do what I love every single day, so it doesn’t feel like a job coming to school, I really enjoy it,” she says.

Hawker also works in a restaurant outside of school, and has for years. According to the U.S. Bureau of labor statistics, teens are successfully flocking to the job market across the country.

A report from the Bureau states that unemployment for teens is typically much higher than for adults. In July, teen unemployment dipped to 9.6%, the lowest rate since 1953, and it’s staying low.

In Columbus, a bill with bipartisan support was introduced in the Senate to allow teens young er than 16 to work longer hours - until 9 on a school night, instead of 7.

Amid a nation-wise labor shortage, this would allow for the Ohio job market to lean even more heavily on teen labor. Hawker says that working has taught her life skills, and lined her pockets, but she urges caution.

“You have school. You have to get your school work done. School comes first,” she says.

The teen employment Ohio Senate Bill, SB251, is currently headed to the committee of Workforce and Higher education for debate.

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