Summer job market could be promising for Memphis teens, local economist says

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Dr. John Gnuschke is an economics professor at the University of Memphis.

He said there’s a hiring problem for business owners, but there is a solution.

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“Teenagers can provide a lot of help to employers,” Gnuschke said.

With outside opening back up and businesses starting to gain some traction, there’s a growing need for workers.

This summer’s job market could be shaping up to be a great one for teenagers.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the percentage of 16 to 19 year-olds currently working is just over 32%.

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This is the highest it’s been since it was just around 34% in 2008.

Gnuschke said the market is promising for teens and will provide help for employers.

But, it’s not a long-term fix.

“For the most part teenagers are going to be in school and they’re going to be part-time employees at best and they’re going to be temporary help,” he said.

Gnuschke said because of the pandemic, the labor market is in a season of adjustment.

“There’s a lot of turmoil,” he said. “There’s a lot of turnovers. There’s a lot of adjustment taking place that never took place before and that’s the result of the pandemic.”