Pandemic makes job search difficult for teens

Published: Jan. 28, 2021 at 6:31 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Department of Labor reported Thursday another 847,000 people filed for unemployment last week. Many adults can’t find jobs amid the pandemic, and teenagers are facing an even more challenging time.

“I didn’t think it would be as difficult for a teenager to get a job, especially an entry-level position. Anything from a cart pusher to a dish washer. How much experience do you need?” said April Reddick.

Reddick’s son, Jason, is a senior in high school. He’s submitted more than 50 applications over the past year.

“I just wish COVID would be done with so that everyone who is looking for a job could get a job,” Jason said.

Adults who lost their jobs may now be working at grocery stores or fast-food restaurants, and taking positions that teens usually fill.

“The one thing they thought they’d be able to do is get a job even at McDonald’s or Fry’s,” she said. “That has been taken away as well, and it’s definitely impacting their mental health and being positive throughout the pandemic.”

Another mother, Cinthia De La Cruz, said her fifteen-year-old son started his job hunt six months ago and has also had no luck.

“He feels like, what am I doing wrong? Is it because it’s just the first time? We’ve tried explaining that’s just tough for everyone right now,” she said.

De La Cruz said she’s trying to be understanding of the situation and hopes adults, who need the money more than her son, are the ones getting hired.

“Probably have kids or real bills to pay,” she said. “I’m hoping that’s what’s happening that they’re getting the jobs versus a first-time teenager going in and applying.”

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