Companies are scrambling to hire workers and are paying higher wages as the country reopens, to the benefit of teenagers


 Teenagers may have the most to gain as companies look to hire more staff as many companies are reopening ahead of the summer, The New York Times reported. 

Statistics from the Federal Reserve Economic Data show that around 256,000 16 to 19-year-olds gained employment last month, a large percentage of those who got employed last month. 

The number of teens gaining employment is the highest it's been since before the 2008 financial crisis. It comes at a time when employers are offering higher starting wages, the Times reported. 

For example, Kennywood amusement park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is offering $13 an hour, a $4 increase compared to last year, to those who have a high school diploma. 

Educators told the Times that this trend could distract students from their schoolwork.

In 2018, Business Insider's Rachel Premack reported that many teens at the time were unlikely to have a part-time job compared to previous generations simply because of school, and low-income teens, in particular, were less likely to find connections for a job. 

Even during this current trend, the Times reported it's mostly white teens gaining employment. 

"A rising tide isn't lifting all boats," Alicia Sasser Modestino, an economist at Northeastern University who studies labor markets for young people told the Times. Still, "there could be some really good opportunities for youth that we haven't seen in a long time — that's good."

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