After suffering through the COVID-19 pandemic, some local Delaware Valley businesses plan to pick up workers for summer jobs this season. The question is whether the workers will show up for those jobs.
Sesame Place in Bucks County is a family attraction enjoyed by many Delaware Valley residents with young children. Managers are optimistic about their business going into the summer.
“Sesame Place is currently hiring for the summer season,” Meagan Passero, the site’s communications manager, said. “While we have seen challenges with staffing since the pandemic, we feel comfortable with where we are currently in our hiring process.”
Sesame Place and other local businesses could expand their workforce by hiring youth, The Wall Street Journal reported, as teenagers are looking to jump into the job market, anticipating higher pay and better hours.
Many teenagers don’t have the same view of summer work as their parents’ generation. Extracurricular activities, unpaid internships, and volunteer opportunities have replaced work in the lives of some young people.
But there is some good news for would-be employers this season.
According to government statistics, teenagers are now working in more significant numbers than before the 2008-09 financial crisis. These teenage workers have become valuable in the retail, hospitality, and tourism industries, where many adults left these jobs behind during the pandemic.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the unemployment rate among 16- to 19-year-old workers was 10.2 percent in April, just short of the 68-year low of 9.6 percent in May last year. The federal data show about a third of U.S. teenagers in that age group are now in the workforce.
If these trends continue, many businesses throughout the Delaware Valley should be in good shape for this upcoming season.
In Delaware County, PA CareerLink Delaware County, in partnership with Delaware County Workforce Development, hosted two job fairs recently hoping to match job seekers and employers.
Both job fairs focused on post-graduation and summer opportunities while featuring more than 30 businesses from the Delaware County area. They aspired to fill hundreds of part-time, full-time, and seasonal positions.
Representatives from educational institutions, the hospitality industry, restaurants, retirement communities, summer camps, and trade unions attended. Various positions at both fairs offered competitive employee benefits as well as opportunities for advancement and gaining experience in the workforce.