With the job market ridden with vacancies and openings, it is evident that a part of the workforce is not as full as years past, but why is this happening?
It’s no secret that high school students today are less involved in the workforce than ever. For more than two decades, students’ responsibilities have been growing.
At Fremont, a good portion of the student body have after-school jobs. From retail to office work, local to national, young people have always filled many “unskilled” entry level positions in the workforce.
These jobs are normally labeled as part-time positions, with little-to-no previous experience required. Traditionally, they are also accompanied with low wages and lax rules when it comes to attendance and work policies.
In the year 2022, high school students are known to be very busy people. They spend time in advanced classes and extracurricular activities such as school sports, clubs, and competitive teams. Because of all of this time spent on generally well-rounded activities, students can find it hard to make room for keeping a consistent job in their spare time.
Over the years, it has become increasingly expectant that students enroll in Advanced Placement (AP) and other high level classes. With more concurrent enrollment classes becoming available and expected on the daily, students who completely forgo the option of taking college courses are looked at as if they are “missing out” on this great opportunity. However, high schools encompass a variety of students, all on different levels of learning, so naturally, not every student is on a level where advanced courses are the right choice.
Moreover, students are expected to participate in a variety of after-school activities, which can range from daily commitments to weekly ones. These kinds of activities can require hours of time in preparation, competition, performance, and participation.
Although students of every generation have faced similar challenges, now more than ever, high school students are expected to force these activities into their schedules, all while being ridiculed for not doing quite enough. If a student isn’t taking advanced classes while being on a team or in a club, while maintaining a part-time job, they often face disappointed parents or relatives
Because of these added pressures, students have become less inclined to participate in the workforce during both the school year and the summer. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, since 2016, workforce involvement among young people has been continually decreasing. It is also evident that over time, young people have become more involved in the classroom. As involvement in the workforce has fallen, involvement in school has become more common in teens.
Jobs that high school students hold may require a vast range of hours. Students are expected to work nights and weekends, with shifts between 4-12 hours. They also find themselves working anywhere between two to seven days a week, which may interfere with homework at times.
As a whole, the high school workforce has changed dramatically over the years. With highschool expectations getting higher and higher, it has become more difficult for the average student to maintain a job during the school year. Each student is different and the amount of workload they can handle is unique to everyone. No one should be forced to juggle more pressures and expectations than they can, and this includes part-time jobs.