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College Students Working Through Labor Shortage


The national labor shortage has been featured in various headlines over the past few months. CNN reports such labor shortages are expected to continue. However, college students seem to have no difficulty finding a job but are definitely feeling overworked.

 Those between the ages of 16 and 24 account for a significant population of work-for-pay jobs, especially in the gig economy.

 Anna Kate Clark currently works four different jobs while attending college full-time. She believes if you are a college student you can find a job.

 “I truly believe that if you are a college student who needs a job, you can find one. I know a lot of businesses are struggling to find workers right now.” – Anna Kate Clark

 With two gigs and a couple of part-time jobs, Clark has quite the workload. She works as a Marketing Coordinator with Keller Williams, high school JV volleyball coach, office cleaner, and pet sitter. As a pet sitter, Clark has five clients that keep her busy.

 “I take care of their dogs, cats, lizards, fish, etc. when they are out of town or working through the day.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate fell to 4.8 percent in September. The number of unemployed persons fell to 7.7 million. While these indicate unemployment is down, the U.S employment rate has not bounced back to where it was prior to the pandemic.

 In Georgia, the unemployment rate is now 3.5 percent which is below the 3.6 percent mark that was recorded back in March 2020. However, hundreds of restaurants, retailers, and school systems are finding it difficult to recruit employees.

 “We are not seeing the number of Georgians rejoin the labor force at the same pace as we are seeing employers post jobs and we are taking an in-depth look at why.” – Commissioner Mark Butler

 Isaac Thomas attends the University of North Georgia full-time and works a total of 40 hours a week. Freelancing at the Gainesville Times and working part-time at Last Chance Archery, Thomas says he thinks college students really show what it takes to work and achieve goals.

 “I feel like the COVID-19 relief and unemployment has made people too comfortable at home. We work multiple jobs and attend school full time. We can’t slack off,” said Thomas.

 While there are plenty of job openings, many college students are feeling overworked while taking classes. This is due to lower paying jobs losing employees who seek higher paying jobs with more benefits.

 There are currently no statistics on college students who have employment outside the university system. However, those outside of academia have noticed the trend. College students work multiple jobs.

In a recent report, Intel is hiring college students to work, producing chips to meet the increased demand during the labor shortage. The semiconductor industry leader is recruiting students to help them produce chips for cars and phones after the pandemic due to shortages.

 However, low-paying jobs in industries like retail or food and beverage, are underemployed. That’s where many college students pick up the slack.

 According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 44% of college students in four-year-degree programs were likely to be in the labor force while those at two year schools were 82 percent more likely to be working as of October 2020.

Ultimately, the labor shortage has shown what some students are capable of during this time.

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College Students Working Through Labor Shortage