Effects of Employment Shortages

The past few years have been  full of ups and downs from a worldwide quarantine protocol to mask mandates in public areas.  One thing that drastically changed within the span of 2020-2021 was the percent of  unemployed people. When the pandemic spread to the United States, many people were laid off from their jobs or even quit because of the risk of getting the coronavirus. Businesses shut down, negatively affecting schools which left families struggling to manage taking care of themselves. Fast forward to the present, we now are facing employment shortages that have taken a negative effect on people in the work industry. Many employees have begun to work overtime which can cause mental and physical problems.

Recently, the education system has experienced substantial employment shortages from teachers and substitutes quitting on short notice or from being out with covid. Schools are beginning to combine classes, making the Media Specialist supervise multiple classes at once, and even having deans and APs handling unsupervised classes. One staff member, in particular, has had to take on numerous new responsibilities because of the education systems employment shortage. Ms. Willard is Apopka’s school Media Specialist, she has recently had to take on many new roles including supervising students who don’t have a teacher or supervisor in their class. She explains that her new responsibilities include “watching over classes throughout the day” while still doing her regular tasks. She also said, “this has kind of hurt our check out because kids are less willing to come to the library and check out books.”

Working teenagers have also been faced with unfair treatment because of employment shortages. Some teens are works 40+ hours a week while still attempting to attend school Monday-Friday.  This is leads to more students feeling overwhelmed, falling behind on work, and skipping school. According to a Penn State study on the positive and negative effects on student employees, “One of the disadvantages of being a student while holding a job is that they are often short on time and commonly find themselves with limited time to study, sleep, and maintain healthy eating habits.” Having a job as a teenager has it’s positive effects too like making money and learning how to be proficient in the working world, but it should not come in the way of a student’s education.

Employment shortages are affecting so many lines of work. This is causing employees massive amounts of stress and illnesses. The Blue and White would like to thank all of those who are working and pushing through these hard times.