Retail

Teen Workers Rejoin Restaurant Workforce

teen restaurant worker

With store closures in retail making fewer jobs in the space for teens, teen workers are returning to the workforce for restaurants. Just under 2 million — or 1.7 million — teens worked in restaurants last year per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which was the same level as in 2007 before the recession, CNBC reported.

At the same time, teens’ labor force participation rate has become stagnate as of 2016. The restaurant space, in other words, has been able to attract workers who are teens from other verticals. While 41.3 percent of teens had a job in 2007, only 35.1 percent did in 2018. This segment of the population is opting for summer classes and community service instead to bolster their resumes, per the report.

But the number of adults ages 55 or older who have jobs in restaurants jumped by 70 percent from 2007 to 2018. Teens now exceed this age group by 2 to 1 instead of by 3 to 1. Glassdoor Senior Economist Daniel Zhao said, according to CNBC, “It’s largely due to the fact that people are living longer for one. So as health-care costs increase and as people’s financial needs increase, they need to work longer in order to sustain their lifestyles.” Even so, the restaurant worker turnover rate is 73 percent every single year per the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The news comes as hiring in the United States rallied in March, as non-farm payrolls increased by a seasonally adjusted 196,000 jobs ahead of a 175,000 rise from a survey of economists. A former Congressional Budget Office director, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, said that “the March report should put to rest the notion that the economy is doomed to falter in 2019.” He continued, “One cannot expect a repeat of 2018 as the economy moves toward trend, but 2019 has started solidly.

The unemployment rate, however, remained at 3.8 percent compared to a 49-year low of 3.7 percent last fall. At the same time, the average hourly wages of private-sector wages rose 3.2 percent from the year before. That figure was under the gain of 3.4 percent seen in February, which reports called “the best since the recession ended in 2009.”

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