My wife and I spent part of the holiday weekend in the Wisconsin Dells. I noticed something very different from the last time we visited the Dells about ten years ago--there seem to be a lot of Eastern European accents around there. The kids taking our pictures before the Jet Boat ride, the indoor water park lifeguards, the clerk at the t-shirt shop, even the girl taking our order at Dairy Queen all had Ukrainian, Russian or Polish accents (and name tags).
I didn't remember such an influx of foreign workers in past so I asked about it and it turns out that American college kids no longer want the seasonal jobs offered by the tourist traps and the mega-resorts. The business owners then find Eastern European kids to fill out the workforce--because they don't mind the labor they are asked to put in--they are just happy to get paid.
I find this ironic, as unemployment rates among young adults continue to increase under the Obama Administration--as does student loan debt. Yet, 23-thousand jobs require flying in people from halfway around the globe to fill them. And then that money goes out of our economy.
Yes, the Dells college job is low-paying. Most are barely above the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. But even at that "meager" rate, a college kid putting in 40-hours a week for the 15 weeks between Memorial Day and Labor Day is going to make $4,350 bucks. If you get a job that pays $9 an hour that goes up to $5400. Another interesting thing is that many of the Eastern European kids also work two jobs while in the Dells for the summer. Add in another 25 hours a week for the season and that's an additional $2700 bucks that could go toward someone's tuition or room and board.
Granted, spending an entire summer or two or four or five would mean no getting drunk for a week at Country USA, no spending hot days on your parents' boat, and not much time for "clubbing". But with less (or no) student loan debt when you graduate from college, you can attend plenty of concerts, spend many more nights dancing, and you can even buy your own boat (with cash) after graduation. And someday you can even take your family to the Dells and buy the overpriced Jet Boat Ride photos to help another "poor" college student get through school.