Worker Shortage: Is It Today’s Young Generation?

Many have suggested that extended COVID-19 unemployment benefits only exacerbated an increasing problem in finding younger people to work today.

“Prior to COVID, I think we all knew there were issues with the trades, finding workers or kids going into the trades,” First District Commissioner Karen Stuppy said. “There was already an issue there. COVID didn’t help the situation in my opinion.”

Rosie Huck, manager of the Old Brick Restaurant, was the most forthcoming in her assessment of today’s young people.

“The work ethic of the younger generation is just not what it used to be,” she said. “You can’t hardly get anybody to come in and fill out an application. It’s bad.”

Blue collar work is not something many of them want.

“They don’t want to do labor; they want to sit behind a desk and push buttons and that’s the extinct of it,” Huck said. “I guess we all want to do that if we can get by with it, but there’s got to be somebody out there that does other jobs, or else this world wouldn’t run.”

Mike Rowe, host of the long-running TV show, “America’s Dirtiest Jobs,” believes recent generations have been brought up to look down on manual labor.

“Over the last 30 years, America has convinced itself that the best path for the most people is an expensive, four-year degree,” he said on mikwroweworks.org. “Pop culture has glorified the ‘corner office job’ while unintentionally belittling the jobs that helped build the corner office. As a result, our society has devalued any other path to success and happiness.