Talent Shortage? Try a Teenager.

Unemployment in the United States is at 4.1 percent. That, in case you don’t follow, labor statistics is really low. And jobless claims–that is people who have (generally) been laid off is hovering a little over 200,000. Compare that to 2009 where we had a spike of over 600,000 claims.

In other words, if you want a job, now is a great time to get one. But, if you need to hire someone, you might run into difficulty finding someone to do the job. Which is why businesses are turning to teenagers.

Yep. Teenagers. Those are the people we often complain about, but it turns out they are just the solution we need.

This is a fabulous thing. Teenagers have a considerably higher unemployment rate–13.9 percent, which means there are many teens that want jobs and don’t have them. But here’s the problem: teens are better than other low-skilled workers. The Wall Street Journal reports:

To keep reading, click here: Talent Shortage? Try a Teenager.

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11 thoughts on “Talent Shortage? Try a Teenager.

  1. Hiring someone who is under 18 has consequences especially if your state has a list of requirements to follow as to how they can be employed, not that I am saying that they won’t be good candidates. Sometimes the labor laws make it impossible for a business to hire teenagers because of positions and length of hours to schedule. Plus most teenagers will have high social activities on key work schedule needed days ( partly caused by pressure from social media and after school functions). Work is merely an afterthought.. Now I am talking about those teenagers whose parents make social activity presence easier to achieve by giving the children everything without the need to earn the value of it. There are plenty of teenagers who who are not so privileged and are willing to work.
    Like the article states, the employer needs to want investing in training a young unskilled employee, even with the chance that they aren’t getting a long term employment out of this individual. The employers who do this create positive work ethics in all they invest the time with and sometimes they create a permanent member of the business.
    The current work situation with big businesses is controlled labor costs to insure bottom line profits which creates limits on both number of jobs and pay, plus using a computer program to weed out candidates to employer need doesn’t help.
    Lastly that unemployment rate quoted is false as it fails to count those no longer receiving unemployment benefits. Rather what should be looked at is the number of abled-bodied healthy individuals receiving benefits on a long term basis with no job incentives to find or get full time work. When you have adults working the positions (part time) that teenagers used to get because of lack of good jobs with fair pay, teenagers have a harder time getting a job. It’s up to private employers to create some jobs as long as they are within the restrictions of the labor laws, which were created to abolish child labor.

  2. I have to wonder about the accuracy of the unemployment statistics. I realize that unemployment can be very regional. Less than 1 year ago, I applied for a job and found out that there were over 700 applicants for the job.

    I also have to wonder what the underemployment rate is.

    1. In the US, there are multiple unemployment rates. The one you see in the news is the percentage of people who are “part of the work force,” which is to say, are actively looking for work. Once you unemployment runs out, if you don’t follow certain paths to keep looking – something the government can track – you fall out of that definition.

      One of the reasons that unemployment has been basically the same for months, while tens or hundreds of thousands of new jobs are created, is that a lot of people stopped looking for the recession, and are now reentering the work force.

      Unfortunately, there is no way to measure the “true” unemployment rate, including people who would like to have a job, but have given up because they couldn’t find one for so long.

  3. @Cajun2core, I wonder about this, too. Are they factoring in the people who want to work but have just given up?

    1. I wonder that too. I wonder if they are also factoring in people whose claims have run out and can no longer file. For example, people who have been unemployed for over 2 or so years.

      1. From Wikipedia’s article on Unemployment (U3 is the one you hear in the news, U6 is the closest to what you’re wondering about, but it’s the hardest to measure accurately):

        The Bureau of Labor Statistics also calculates six alternate measures of unemployment, U1 through U6, that measure different aspects of unemployment:

        U1: Percentage of labor force unemployed 15 weeks or longer.

        U2: Percentage of labor force who lost jobs or completed temporary work.

        U3: Official unemployment rate per the ILO definition occurs when people are without jobs and they have actively looked for work within the past four weeks.

        U4: U3 + “discouraged workers”, or those who have stopped looking for work because current economic conditions make them believe that no work is available for them.

        U5: U4 + other “marginally attached workers”, or “loosely attached workers”, or those who “would like” and are able to work, but have not looked for work recently.

        U6: U5 + Part-time workers who want to work full-time, but cannot due to economic reasons (underemployment).

  4. Jill and Cajun2core, here is the address to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics that maps national and regional labor info. It includes historical data as well.

    Employment rates are actually measured 6 ways, U1-U6.
    U3 is the one most common sited, U5 is the measure of unemployed/underemployed. Address below

    Unemployment is not measured by claims but by surveys both to employers and general public. If I recall correctly the same measure and methods since 1949.

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