POINT PLEASANT, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — If you need a summer job, you might want to head to the Jersey shore. Many towns are still looking to fill positions.
As CBS2’s Meg Baker reported, it’s not even summer yet, but Point Pleasant’s boardwalk was already packed Friday near Jenkinson’s Pavilion.
“Our staff swells in the summer to I’d say somewhere between 1,200 and 1,400 employees,” said Tony Wolf, director of marketing for Jenkinson’s Boardwalk.
But some businesses at the shore are struggling to fill those jobs, and they aren’t sure why.
Point Pleasant held two job fairs.
“They were both a little bit on the light side, which was a little bit odd for the season,” Wolf said. “But Easter was early.”
Wolf thinks maybe people have not been thinking about summer because of the cooler weather.
Many of the seasonal jobs are filled by teens in high school and college.
“We’re really dependent on these young people to come to work at Seaside,” said Mike Graichen, director of special events at Seaside Heights.
Rowan University student Lauren Phillips says she loves working at the beach.
“This is my fifth years at Khors,” she said. “Meet new people every day. I get to work with ice cream, so yummy.”
But if those kids don’t have somewhere to live, seasonal share houses can be pricey for minimum wage workers. The starting price for a house of 10 is $22,000.
It seems the majority of rentals have transitioned from college kids to young professionals.
“Most of the people that we rent to here are the people who come down to enjoy themselves,” said Bob Wood of The Wood Agency.
On the boardwalk in Seaside Heights, they not only need more game operators, but they have a ton of special events planned for the summer. That means they are looking to hire more people.
“July 13th, we’re going to have Trace Adkins here, who’s going to be a real, real big one,” Graichen said.
For years, Seaside has brought in foreigners to work summers, but they don’t cover all the positions.
“We have several job opportunities with the municipality,” Mayor Tony Vaz said.
And in Point Pleasant, “we call them ‘the Beach Boys’ — 14, 15, 16 years old. That’s a great job for them. They get to be in the sand, enjoy the sun,” Wolf said.
One town that hasn’t had a delay in hiring is Asbury Park. Its Chamber of Commerce is reporting an increase in hiring, with new restaurants and entertainment opening there.
All agree that working down the shore, no matter the paycheck, is worth the memories.