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Help wanted in Sinking Spring, Pa. Photo: Ben Hasty/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

America's luckiest workers are teens, as employers pour on perks and higher pay, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: In the face of a nationwide hospitality and restaurant worker shortage, more teenagers from 16 to 19 are working now than before the pandemic erupted, per Bureau of Labor statistics cited by the Times.

  • Workers at Kennywood theme park outside Pittsburgh "are receiving season park passes for themselves and three family members — a bonus worth around $300," per the Times. Kennywood's starting wage is $13, up from $9 last year.
  • Applebee’s has offered an 'Apps for Apps' deal to give interviewed applicants a free appetizer voucher.
  • Restaurants and gas stations across the U.S. are offering workers signing bonuses.
  • Lifeguards are getting raises, and some age requirements are dropping from 16 to 15.

Reality check: Data show that white teens are doing better than Black or Hispanic teens, possibly because of transportation disparities:

  • "[W]hile places like Cape Cod and suburban neighborhoods begin to boom, some urban centers with public transit remain short on foot traffic."

Go deeper

8 mins ago - World

Tokyo Olympics to allow up to 10,000 fans at each event

Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto (L) and IOC President Thomas Bach on Monday. Photo: Rodrigo Reyes Marin/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Organizers of the Tokyo Olympics said Monday that venues can be filled up to 50% capacity when the Games kick off on July 23, with a maximum of 10,000 Japanese spectators at each event, AP reports.

Why it matters: Medical experts advising the Japanese government had recommended against allowing fans, citing the low vaccination rates in Japan and the potential for new variants to drive up infections.

30 mins ago - Health

The psychology behind COVID-19 lotteries

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

NBA season tickets. Scholarships. A chance at $5 million. The list of lotteries and raffles states are launching to drive up COVID-19 vaccination rates is growing, and some local officials are already reporting "encouraging" results.

Driving the news: The reason why, some psychologists and public health experts say, is that the allure of lotteries for many people is simply that the prospect of winning a great prize seems better than passing up the chance, regardless of the odds.

30 mins ago - Health

States most vulnerable to COVID are also some of the least vaccinated

Reproduced from Surgo Ventures; Data: CDC, Surgo Ventures; Note: Vaccination rate indicates the percentage of the state population that is fully vaccinated; Map: Connor Rothschild/Axios

Some states — particularly those in the South — are at much higher risk for bad coronavirus outbreaks not only due to low vaccination rates, but also because their populations were more vulnerable to begin with.

Why it matters: In many ways, the pandemic feels over in the U.S. But in some parts of the country, that feeling may be short-lived, especially as new variants continue to spread.