First Person: For Students, There’s an Upside to Cuts in Worker Hours

Yahoo Contributor Network

It was so easy for teens to get jobs in the 1990s that I remember one high school friend who job hopped to almost every store in the entire mall. Since the Great Recession, however, it has not been as easy for teenagers today. My sons and their peers have had a difficult time getting even menial jobs working at fast-food restaurants.

According to a recent article by The Exchange, various fast-food chains have cut worker hours, blaming Obamacare. However, there is a huge upside to this situation. I think the trend will result in a huge boost of jobs for teenagers. Many high school and college students can't work as many hours because they are studying for classes. In some cases, they are restricted due to their age to work more than a certain number of hours.

Taking back the jobs

In the past few months, I've noticed an increase in the number of teenagers working at a new Wendy's that opened up in my community. I was ecstatic to see teenagers finally having the chance to work. Many middle-class teens need to work to save up money for college since they aren't eligible for grants. They shouldn't be stuck with thousands of dollars of college loans either.

According to the article, Wendy's has responded to Obamacare's Affordable Care Act by cutting worker hours. People in non-management positions will have their hours reduced to 28 a week. Because each worker can't work as many hours, the restaurant will inevitably have to hire more people. This is good news for parents with teenage children such as me.

Motivating employees to aim higher

Maybe there are some people who want to work at fast-food chains their entire lives. If that's the case, they may be inspired to work their way up to management positions that are still full-time jobs. Anyone else should be motivated to return to college to obtain a technical degree or academic degree that leads to a career.

Taking senior citizens out of the picture

Perhaps some senior citizens were motivated to work at fast-food chains or other entry-level type jobs because they wanted insurance to supplement their Medicare. Senior citizens may now be ready to step back and let their grandchildren and great-grandchildren enter the working world. Some experts say seniors who work longer into retirement actually boost the economy because they have more money to spend. However, in recent years it seems seniors were just pushing teenagers out of jobs. Now that baby boomers are getting too old to work, the problem seems to be taking care of itself.

I'm glad to see younger people behind cash registers again. Most of the teenagers I've observed living in Florida seem to be hard-workers who have to deal with a lot of grumpy retired customers. I'm also happy my sons and their peers have a better "menu" of employment opportunities from which to choose.

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