Hassel with Finding, Maintaining Teen Jobs

By Cynthia Rodriguez

With the economy still shaky, teens are having major problems finding a job. Handling them is another thing.

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The job market for teens is possibly the worst it’s been since the Great Depression. Any employment is getting tougher to find, let alone good employment. If you are a teen, you may have to put a lot of effort into finding a job, as employers are cutting back on hiring.

Lancaster County resident Georgia Rodriguez is an adult who had trouble finding a job recently and spoke about how much harder it is for teens.

“Jobs are so hard to find in today’s world. Right now there are so many companies throughout the world having financial problems,” said Rodriguez.

Undoubtedly, the recent financial downturn has affected much of the economy. When the economy is strong, workers can easily find a job because employers are looking for people to employ.

“This causes pay rates to rise. On the other hand, when the economy is weak, competition for jobs becomes fiercer because more people are unemployed. This causes pay rates to decrease,” said retired worker Carol Main of Lancaster.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor and Industry, 50 percent of American teenagers hold some sort of jobs, such as babysitting or yard work, by age 12. And by age 15, nearly two-thirds of American teens have had some kind of employment.

But it’s not always easy to keep a job.

“I was employed at Timberland right before Christmas working as a cashier,” Penn Manor junior Breezy Rivera said.  They had me with good hours. Getting the job was definitely not easy. When it came close to Christmas it was busy, busy, busy. After Christmas, that’s when I had recently got laid off, they said they no longer needed me.”

One difficulty teens run into with employment are child labor laws. The law requires that kids age 16 and 17 year olds not start work before 6 a.m. or after midnight on school days and 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

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Also, teens are not allowed to work more than eight hours per day and 28 hours per school week. During the summer, the only restrictions on 16 and 17 year olds, is that they can work no more than eight hours per day.

Vanessa Marquez, 17, works at Salad Works in Park City Center in Lancaster.  She doesn’t agree with the restrictions on teens from the Child Labor laws.

“I sit back and think, if you can maintain a job and get things done, do your duties, then why not be able to stay late and make some good money,” said Marquez.

Amanda Sanchez, 18, is a Penn Manor alumni who is appreciative of her job, although she said it’s hard working for hourly wages.

“I’m employed at Giant grocery store,” said Sanchez. “I’ve been here for a good amount of time.I also had a good paying  job at QVC, working over nights then getting up going straight to the next job, I rarely got any sleep.”

To get a job this summer, MSNBC had these 10 suggestions:

1. Convince your prospective employer that you’re not too young for the job.

2. Spread the word that you’re looking for work and don’t be shy about it.

3.Speak to the boss not a employer.

4. Show positive energy.

5.Maintain good grades and attendance in school.

6. Keep proof of paperwork,if you don’t yet have a driver’s license or learner’s permit is to have your school district issue an age certificate for you.

7. Clean and neat.  Mind your manners and grooming.

8.If you get hurt on the job don’t be afraid to ask your boss for help before the next task.

9. Work hard and show initiative.  If you can tell the boss is hesitant about hiring you and you really want to work there, suggest that you can work for two weeks without pay.

10.Work for a family member or friend, study buddy, tutoring. Figure out whether you might be able to use something like this to make money now and also improve the image of your college and scholarship applications in the future.

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