High-school kids lead Capital Region in workforce return

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Teenage workers are a blessing for Capital Region businesses who need help.

High school-aged kids are leading the area in not only returning to the workforce, but they’re also exceeding their pre-pandemic employment.

According to the Center for Economic Growth, in the third quarter of 2021, there were 10,287 employed 14 to 18-year-olds in the five-county Albany-Schenectady-Troy metro area. That was an increase of 10.6% from the pre-pandemic level and the highest third-quarter employment for this age group in 13 years.

In the Albany metro, high school-aged workers are getting the most extra jobs in retail trade, which was up 48% from the summer of 2010.

One of the other major gaining sectors is accommodations and food service, up 23.7%, mostly at restaurants.

Capital Region BOCES is sending even more students into the job market as the program builds out its work-based learning platform.

Several BOCES culinary students are currently working at Track 32 in Selkirk, Pizza Works and Burnt Hills Cafe in Burnt Hills, Yanni’s Restaurant in Ravena, and The Boat House in New Baltimore.