TEXAS, USA — Since opening back up after the Pandemic, management at Strawberry Fields Cafe has noticed this year's application pool is looking different than usual. There are more teens applying than adults.
"This year it’s been a little different with just employment altogether we don’t have the adults applying like we used to in the past," says Glenna Plummer, Manager at Strawberry Fields Cafe.
Plummer has around five high school and college students employed at the restaurant.
CC and Cesia Nava are two high schoolers that work there.
"We work here, make food, work on dining area. It’s a great place to work the tips are good the people are nice," says CC Nava.
Both girls are working in what is being called the best year for teen workers. With the jobless rate for teens dropping to 9.6% when the rate usually is 12% - 14%.
"We have the lowest level of teen unemployment right now that we’ve had since 1953. You know to mark that's when President Eisenhower was in office,"
Teen workers are filling the void that many adults left behind when they didn't return to their jobs after the pandemic. There are various reasons why adults haven't returned:
"The unemployment insurance has been as much as they’re making working so that’s a disincentive for people to return to work, however, it's more complicated than that also. Daycare is not reliable yet so many single mom, many working mom are not able to return to the workforce yet and also we still have a large number of people that are concerned about their health and don’t want to get in crowds yet," says Mickey Cargile.
With a now hiring sign posted in the window, Glenna tells me the search doesn't stop when it comes to looking for adult employees.
We also get busier after school starts so that’s five employees that are going back to school, so that definitely hurts. That's where the adults can come definitely apply, and work part time, we have maybe one full time position that's open.