Why you should expect longer lines at the Iowa State Fair this year
Iowa State Fair organizers say there are worker shortages abound this year — ranging from parking attendants to bartenders to corn dog cooks.
Why it matters: You'll likely have to wait a little longer in lines, especially if attendance reaches 2019's record-breaking levels.
The intrigue: A unique challenge for Iowa's 11-day fair is the limited availability of teens and young adult workers, who typically make up the majority of those working the grounds.
Employment for teens ages 15-19 increased by two percentage points between 2019 and 2021. That's likely because it's easier to get an entry-level job at a decent wage today, said Iowa State University economist John Winters.
- What that means for the fair: It's a great time to be a teen looking for work, but that also spells more competition for employers.
Meanwhile, employment for young adults ages 20-24 decreased by 6 percentage points from 2019-21.
- They may have qualified for unemployment benefits and stimulus checks, giving them more of a financial cushion, especially if they moved back home, Winters said.
- What that means for the fair: There isn't an urgency to rush back to the workforce, especially for temporary labor, Winters said.
The bottom line: About 1,600 fair workers are standard.
- Hiring, which typically would've wrapped up at this point, continues this year, ISF spokesperson Mindy Williamson told us yesterday.
You can find job descriptions and applications, here.
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