Graphic by Lashall Richards
On May 14th, the New York Times reported that the number of unemployment claims filed in the past 2 months has reached over 36 million. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many adults are unemployed, and if adults are losing their jobs, students don’t stand a chance. Some students have been making money through doing chores or getting birthday money, but for the majority of students, that’s not the case.
Before coronavirus, many students were holding part-time jobs for many reasons, saving up for college tuition, saving up for a car, or to help out their family, but now all those supplemental funds families were getting from their kids is gone, which is just pouring salt on the wound of quarantine. So who is still making money and how are they getting it?
One of the common tropes we have seen due to the stay at home orders is people having to celebrate their birthday alone. Some students have gotten some cash in the form of birthday presents from relatives. Ashton Viramontes, a freshman at De La Salle Highschool said, “I made money from my birthday cause that’s all I ask for.” He is also one of the luckier students who has been able to make some money from doing chores for his grandparents. In this pandemic, few students are making money, but the ones who are recognize how lucky they are and are grateful for it.
Many students are not making any money at all now, students like Diego Ramirez, a freshman at Las Lomas who said, “I am not making money at the moment due to me not being allowed to leave the house.” Students in all grades might have had jobs or did chores for a neighbor or for their family, but now those opportunities are no longer available.
Various ideas have been suggested to help with low teenage wages. One idea would be to offer student discounts to high schoolers as well as college students. Another possibility would be a non-profit organization that tries to support students affected by COVID-19.