By Caroline Schneider
“A lot of places didn’t even give me applications because they weren’t hiring,” said Emily Davis, a senior who has been looking for a job since her fall sport season ended in October. “And some places said it [was] a possibility, but then they needed jobs during lunch time.”
The information about the unemployment crisis in America is prevalent in almost any city or town in the United States. It is understood that there are a lack of jobs for qualified citizens everywhere, and the ever-dawdling economy has put a lot of pressure on multiple families across the map. But educated adults aren’t the only ones struggling to find work in today’s system; some students at Northwood are dealing with the same problems.
Davis said she has applied to “pretty much every possible place in Pittsboro,” including a furniture store, which most students wouldn’t describe as glamorous work.
Although the lack of jobs may be frustrating for teenagers who can’t find employment, they do understand why it’s so difficult for them to get even an interview.
“[Businesses] don’t need employment because they have enough people already, and they can’t spend anymore money,” Davis said.
Senior Chelsea Williams has applied to 10 places in the Beaver Creek shopping center, with only one of the businesses calling her back.
“I had one place call me back and that was a yogurt place,” said Williams, who didn’t get the job for what she thinks was just too many candidates. “They had a bunch of people that applied for that one job.”
Some people, such as Principal Chris Blice, believe that it’s always going to be harder for teenagers to find jobs because now businesses can have adults for even the littlest tasks.
“It’s harder for everybody at this day and age to find jobs. I think it’s harder for teenagers because adults are having to do things that years ago we let teenagers do, just because there isn’t anything else for the adults to do,” said Blice.
Many adults are also working multiple jobs to make ends meet, further weakening the teen job market.
“There are adults [at work] that do work as hostesses, but they also have other jobs; this is just a second job for them, because there’s no way they could sustain a family on what we make there,” said Livy Griffin, who works at the Carolina Brewery.
For many students, it takes a personal connection to a business to find work.
Senior Silva Stout works at Galloway Ridge in Fearrington. Stout attributes part of that to a connection that was made with the business by her sister.
“My sister worked there before I did so she recommended me,” said Stout.
Griffin also worked at Harris Teeter at the same time as she did the Brewery for a while too. Finding these jobs was easy for her, thanks to connections she had within the businesses.
“For the Brewery I got a recommendation, [and] that’s how I got my job at Harris Teeter too; I knew all the kids that worked there and they put in a good word for me,” Griffin said. “I think you have to know someone; honestly, I think that [businesses are] only going to hire people whom they get recommendations from.”
Some find that one of the main problems that come with finding employment is time, or rather, a lack there of.
“[School] definitely [affects your ability to get a job] because it takes up pretty much your entire day; and even if you do get a job, you only have like four hours to do it,” Davis said.
Even those who do work agree that on top of seven hours of school, having to go to work makes for a pretty tight schedule.
“I would have a lot more free time [if I didn’t work],” said Stout.
Griffin remembers getting a job and then having to refuse it because of her busy schedule.
“When I was 16 I applied to the Belted Goat in Fearrington, and I got the job; but I was taking so many dance classes [at that time] that I would have had to give up a dance class and I wasn’t willing to do that so I turned that job down,” Griffin said.
Teenagers not being able to find employment may be frustrating for some parents as well, as multiple adolescents indicated that they were looking for jobs so they could spend their own hard-earned cash.
“I want to buy Christmas presents without using my parents money,” Davis said.
Stout said that her earned money goes to personal items such as clothes, gas to fill her tank and most of all, food.
One consensus among a lot of students is that they believe that their lives are, or would be, easier with a job.
“I enjoy having a job. I think it’s a great way to earn responsibility and mature, I think all teenagers should have jobs,” said Griffin.