Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Adults take traditional teen jobs, leaving youth unemployed -

Adults take traditional teen jobs, leaving youth unemployed - 

When Erin Swiatek began looking for a job last summer, she scoured her neighborhood for employment, but found even the fast food restaurants in the area around her home weren’t hiring.
“[I applied] anywhere I could,” says Swiatek, an 18-year-old Erie High School graduate. “There was [sic] a lot of fast food restaurants that were near my house: Dominos, Pizza Hut, but no takers. Even at Target, they said they wouldn’t hire me or someone else had already taken [the position].”
Swiatek says even at these locations, many of the employees were older and she felt her age might have been a deterrent for the employers.
“I started to give up because they were only taking adults, and I was like, ‘Who would ever hire me? I’m just a kid,’” she says.
Swiatek’s experience is a common one for many youth aged 16 to 21 in Boulder County and across the nation: During the past three years, they are increasingly finding that jobs historically available for them, such as hospitality, food services and retail, are being taken by adults. Some are even calling this summer the most difficult yet in terms of youth employment opportunities.
They are gradually becoming the last hired and first fired in these areas as adults scramble to find employment in the wake of the recession.
The fact that employers are not hiring youth is a trend with real consequences. Fewer summer jobs for youth mean less exposure to work environments and ultimately less time to build the skills and experiences needed for career track employment.

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