How the labor shortage is affecting seasonal work and teen summer jobs

Madden’s Resort on Gull Lake
Sitting on Wilson Bay on Gull Lake, Madden’s Resort is located near Brainerd, Minn., on June 1. Madden’s Resort opened in the early 19th century.
Vickie Kettlewell for MPR News | 2017

Minnesota sees a big jump in employment when the weather warms. Seasonal businesses are hiring workers now to do everything from scooping ice cream to paving roads, landscaping yards and waiting tables at resorts. 

The tight labor market means businesses are struggling to find workers. They’re also hiring people they may have overlooked before, including teenagers. More than half of teens have some sort of paid employment, more than at any point over the last decade since the Great Recession according to a report from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

MPR News host Angela Davis talks with a resort owner and director of a youth employment program about how the labor shortage is affecting seasonal employment and summer jobs, particularly for teens. 

Plus MPR News senior economics contributor Chris Farrell shares the latest economic news. 


  • Abbey Pieper is chief sales and marketing officer and a managing partner at Madden’s on Gull Lake, a resort in the Brainerd lakes area of central Minnesota. She’s part of the third generation running the family-owned resort. 

  • Shaina Abraham is program supervisor of Right Track, the city of St. Paul’s youth employment and internship program.

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