letter to the editor

Teens find it hard to get jobs

Mon, 06/10/2024 - 4:45pm

Dear Editor:

As summer approaches, I am reminded of the challenges young teens face while trying to secure summer employment. I am fortunate to have been hired for a job close to where I live, but I see many others around me who are not as lucky.

The stringent labor laws for younger individuals limit the tasks they can perform, making it difficult for employers to hire them. Employers often prefer to hire someone who is not subject to these laws because they pose fewer complications. In addition, older teenagers compete for the same jobs and are more likely to be selected due to their work experience and fewer restrictions. These laws also restrict the types of work that teens can do, often limiting them to roles in the retail sector. Furthermore, the laws dictate the number of hours teens can work, especially during the school year, and impose limitations on the hours and timing of their work during the summer.

Employers are often unwilling to navigate the complexities and potential penalties associated with hiring younger individuals, leading them to avoid hiring teens altogether. It's not surprising to see individuals my age being repeatedly turned down when seeking summer employment. This is an issue that I believe requires more awareness. The next time someone implies that young people are not willing to work, it should be noted that most do want to work, but they struggle to find employment at their age. 

I ask our local employers to consider the valuable resource a young person can be and I ask our state government to consider revising the laws to allow teens more opportunities. 

Cole Hyson