The Demographics of Joblessness

It would seem that there’s something cultural about young-adult joblessness:

Much of the spike in unemployment was caused by an unusually large surge of teenagers and people in their 20s into the labor force. And those young workers had little success finding work. The jobless rate among 16- to 19-year-olds rose to 18.7 percent from 15.4 percent in April. Retailers, who employ a large number of unskilled teenagers during the summer, cut 27,000 positions in the month.
Rising unemployment, however, spread well beyond young people. The jobless rate rose among almost every other group — men, women, blacks and whites. The rate was unchanged among Latinos.

This recent article on H-2B visas comes to mind:

Several factors make recruiting American workers for seasonal jobs difficult, Venturini said. Some people just don’t want to clean dirty rooms, she said, plus the jobs are temporary and often require working weekends and holidays. …
As for college students, they are increasingly more interested in internships or jobs that will directly enhance their career prospects. And with Newport and Block Island trying to create “shoulder seasons” before Memorial Day and after Labor Day, college students are often not available when employers need them. …
“We would love to hire American workers, and not have to deal with housing, airline tickets, fees. As a business, why would you go through all this unless you had to?” said the Hotel Viking’s O’Donnell. “We’re a hotel, first and foremost. We need clean rooms. We need to have skilled housekeepers.”

In the fashion after which issues tumble and blend, some cultural readjustment may result from and alleviate economic hardship. (Maybe.)

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Ken
Ken
12 years ago

Justin,
We don’t have that type of problem in Hawaii. Most all hotels and resorts here have adopt a school programs. High school students are taught about the tourist industry and what goes into it to make the tourist industry successful.
There are part time jobs leading to full time jobs available for the students. They are taught about all the positions and why each one depends upon the other to make a successful hotel or resort work and keep customers coming back.
Hawaii does have some seasonal H-2B workers. After all, Hawaii economy and its 96% integrated and diverse state-wide population was built upon immigrants working on plantations.
Island of Oahu receives average 80,000 tourists daily. Education, adopt-a-school programs and tourist & convention bureau must be proactively doing something right especially with the current downturn in economy. Hawaii’s last state-wide sustainability study was carried out to year 2050.
Hawaii’s residential communities embrace the hotels and resorts as part of the total integrated community.
State of Hawaii has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the USA.

Phil
Phil
12 years ago

Justin
I have heard this a few years back in regards to Block Is. College age workers would leave before their contract was up at Labor day for a short vacation before returning to school leaving hotels in the lurch. The foreign workers stay for the term .. it seems they have no choice. Even monetary incentives paid at the end of the summer season was enough to keep the aforementioned local workers from leaving early.
My own experience is not in tourism but in construction. I agreed to help a friend last year demolish a bay front home in Warwick. The firm doing the contruction was paying over 17,000 for this work and insisted that my friend hire workers from a local employment company. All of the workers from this agency were foriegn born and most did not speak english . The adults hired almost all had construction skills. The younger men did not and were much like the young workers who are native born. The point being that our young workers are competing with older and much more skilled laborers at the same hourly rate. It seems as though those with the money to do projects like the one I worked on and those staffing resturants and hotels prefer low paid reliable adults

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