Friday, May 04, 2018

Who Does The Work

I tend to take note of who does basic retail service worker jobs. Grocery store checkout, fast food counter type jobs. When I was a teen "all" my peers did these types of jobs. Just what you did when you turned 16 and needed to pay for car insurance, or whatever. Also, too, in those days, where I lived, such jobs paid $7 an hour+ (wow that's $15 per hourish today what a coincidence), so, you know, the money wasn't so bad for a teen. So when I see those jobs being done by older people, I don't think "oh the teens are so pampered today" I think "the labor market is shit today."

Increasingly I see The Kids Today doing those jobs again - for a long time they haven't been - but of course local economic conditions influence that a lot.

Today, there are fewer than half as many, which is a reflection both of teenagers’ decreasing work force participation and of the explosive growth in restaurants.

But in an industry where cheap labor is an essential component in providing inexpensive food, a shortage of workers is changing the equation upon which fast-food places have long relied. This can be seen in rising wages, in a growth of incentives, and in the sometimes odd situations that business owners find themselves in.

Ah, the worker shortage. It is a mystery how we can solve this problem.