Economy Affecting All Parties in Student Employment
La Pastaria still looking for summer hires.
Only a few years ago, it was common for a student to return home from college and get an internship or a job in the surrounding area. Now, students are struggling to find employment upon returning home, and some say it may even be luck of the draw.
"Some have been really lucky and received wonderful internship opportunities while others have not," University of Maryland senior Yasmine Ali said. "That's not say the others are not working, but for those of us graduating next year I think we all want more experience under our belt in regard to what we are studying in school."
Most students have this same point of view. There are not as many spots open as there were a few years back, and that is hurting students who need the experience for when they graduate college. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the participation rate for both sexes aged 16-19 years was 35.6 percent in May 2010. This compares to 37.7 in May 2009, 40.2 in 2008, and 52.8 in 1998.
As can be seen from those numbers, not only the economy can be blamed for dropping participation rates. Rates have been dropping for years now. More students are not actively pursuing employment, presumably to focus on studies.
"I am not actively looking for a job, but last year I was employed by Flash basketball camp," Summit High School senior Matt Stephens, who will attend the University of Virginia in the fall, said.
Director of the Department of Community Programs Judith Josephs looked at it from a different angle.
"Now we have a better talent pool to choose from," Josephs said. "People returning home from school that would have normally been off to post-college jobs are working for us."
Josephs also talked about how the economy has affected current employees.
"The (employees) have been more honest," she said. "They are asking for more work, and they know someone is waiting in line right behind them if they underperform."
However, not everywhere has put hiring new employees on hold. La Pastaria, an Italian restaurant in town, is hiring this summer.
"We are hiring for full-time positions," Assistant Manager Ondrea Venezia said. "We are not looking for any particular age range. We are just looking for people who come in to work fully confident."
If you're a business owner and are currently looking for summer hires, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll add your name to our list of businesses accepting applications.