Reports show teenagers are working more than ever before

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT)- McDonald’s is one food chain that hires a lot of teen workers.

“About 50% of our staff is in high school,” said McDonald’s general manager Lauren Lommen.

With things like flexible schedules and tuition programs, they target them specifically,

“Were an education first employer and really work with their school schedule and activities,” said Lommen.

Grace Frost is a 16-year-old manager at McDonald’s and says she wanted to start working at a young age so she could start preparing for her future.

“I wanted to make money and I wanted to get the experience of working with other people and get those leadership skills because they’re going to be really helpful for when I graduate high school and for whatever I decide to do with my career,” said 16-year-old McDonald’s manager, Grace Frost.

Frost says working as a teen can be tough, but knows she has to find a balance.

“It can be just with how much you’re doing during the school year,” said Frost.

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development says many fast-food chains and other businesses are always trying to top each other with their work style so they can recruit teen workers.

“We have seen some wage increases in some of those industries that attract young workers due to the competition for workers. businesses trying to attract kids into their businesses,” said Chief Economist at Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, Dennis Winters.

The Department of Workforce Development also says that teen workers have been increasing for the last 10 years, but the post-pandemic job hunt made everything spike.

“Well in the short-term post covid, I think a lot of it is, one, the opportunities are there, and two a lot of the events that competed for with were camps or schooling many of those things have been postponed,” said Winters.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the jobless rate for teens dropped to 9.6% in May, the lowest since November 1953.

During the pandemic, that rate spiked as high as 32%, mainly due to businesses that typically hire teens being shut down.