Competition for summer jobs heats up - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Competition for summer jobs heats up

SPOKANE, Wash. - Employers are having no problems finding job applicants these days, and with summer approaching, hiring for temporary jobs is underway.

College and high school students are finding fewer summer jobs and more people after them.

Among young workers, unemployment is 50 percent higher than last year.

College junior Stephen Wright said, "It was a little easier to get a job than now. I would say it's pretty bleak with the economic crisis."

Wright hopes to get one of the seasonal delivery jobs available at Home City Ice.

The company is receiving many more applications.

"A lot of them aren't currently employed, so it's not like they are looking for a better job. They are unemployed right now," said Brian Hedge of Home City Ice.

The company typically attracts college students but is now seeing applications from older workers.

Other seasonal employers tell similar stories.

For 115 summer jobs typically filled by teenagers, the Indianapolis Zoo accepted 1,000 applications, many listing years of experience.

Holiday World received a record number of applications, most from students, but many from retirees or year round employees seeking additional work.

In previous years, Indy Parks and Recreation searched for lifeguards and camp counselors. This year hundreds more applied.

"We've been able to fill almost all of our positions by mid April, which in the past we've had to go right up to opening day to fill the positions," said Paula Freund with Indianapolis Parks and Recreation.

In some cases, teenagers are now competing with job hunters that are both well educated as well as experienced.

One Indianapolis YMCA is seeing some people with bachelors and masters degrees applying for summer jobs, some of which pay only $7.50 an hour.

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