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Spartan Shield

The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

    The rise of high school unemployment

    The Bettendorf Hy-vee, where most high school students at PV tend to work.
    Aedan Burkhart
    The Bettendorf Hy-vee, where most high school students at PV tend to work.

    The amount of high school students that hold a job have plummeted over the past forty years, marking a record low in 2008 while slowly recovering over the past 10 years.

      After a census poll taken in 2023, the amount of students with a job has gone from around 53%, to as low as 29%. With a 24% difference in employment, what factors could drive such a sharp decrease?

    The most common answer to this question is the 2008 recession which caused hundreds of thousands of unemployed people across the country, or even the 2020 global pandemic which left most schools struggling.

    While these could provide an explanation for the dips and decreases around these times, it doesn’t explain why it continues to decline even today, with more employment opportunities than ever.

    Answers could be found in the personal situations of students, and what expectations they have towards their responsibilities and families. “I have car payments, gas, insurance, and without a job I probably wouldn’t have a car or the ability to meet some of my basic personal needs” puts Junior Sean Murphy on the issue of his personal responsibilities.

     Some students are expected to pay for their own activities and things like car payments, but with nearly 60% of upperclassmen having a vehicle, this may not exactly be the answer.

    This brings the focus to academic goals and the importance of that over having a job, as some students might not even bother with a job if they really view education as their number one priority. “In the future education is going to be beneficial in the long run because I will have a more diverse skill set and ability to get a high paying job, meaning education is more about the distant future and having a job is more about the nearer future.” boldly put by aspiring PV student Tejas on the short vs long term benefits of a job. 

    Could it be that more students decide to take a priority on the long term benefits of education, working hard on their academics now so they may have a very high paying job in the distant future.

    But there are always still students that are forced into the working environment early on, as some families simply cannot afford to give their child a full ride into college. “My college isn’t going to pay for itself, my parents said they would try and help when they could but financially I am on my own.” is the rough truth said by Murphy on his future education.

    The answer to the recent decline in jobs boils down to what the student and the student’s family are more focused on, seeing more a shift towards supportive parents that want their kid to have a college education and succeed in the future.

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    About the Contributor
    Aedan Burkhart, Photo Manager
    As of 2023-2024, Aedan Burkhart is a senior at Pleasant Valley High School and works as the photo manager of the Spartan Shield. He deeply enjoys cooking whether it be for himself or his family and friends, and is always looking for new recipes and meals to try out. When he’s not cooking at home, you can usually find him out playing dek hockey at the Crow Creek Park in the D6 dek league. In order to fund his usual activities and hobbies, Aedan is currently employed at the Chick Fil a branch at the Northpark Mall, where he is actively striving for employee of the month for that 50 cent pay raise. And if he isn’t currently working hard cooking, working, or playing, he also loves going out to malls and lunches with his friends to spend all of his hard earned money. But last and certainly not least, Aedan will also now find himself busy with helping to manage the legendary Spartan Shield newspaper!  
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