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June 02, 2004 (rt23 news) - TRENTON, May 26, 2004- This year, the improving economy should lead to an increase in summer jobs compared with 2003 based on the results of the Department of Labor’s Annual Summer Job Outlook, Commissioner Albert G. Kroll said Wednesday. The outlook remains good for those who actively seek work, have prior work experience and transportation, or who live near seasonal job opportunities. Young workers under age 18, however, will continue to compete with college students trying to earn money for school expenses and, in some cases, with retired, older workers particularly in sections of the state without strong seasonal industries.

“The evidence of New Jersey’s strengthening economy is strong- 59,500 jobs created in the past twelve months, as well as twelve consecutive months of an unemployment rate below the national average,” Kroll said. “That record of growth should translate into more opportunities for summer jobs this year, especially considering continued growth in the leisure and hospitality sector, which covers tourism jobs.

Information for the summer job outlook was obtained from an informal survey of retailers, manufacturers, service industry and resort facility employers, and from various government agencies across the state conducted by field analysts from the Department of Labor’s Division of Labor Market and Demographic Research from late April to early May.

Wages generally will range from the state’s minimum wage of $5.15/hour to $10.00/hour. For the most part, summer jobs are more apt to start at $6.00/hour or more in the northern sections of the state where the cost of living is higher and in the coastal region where demand for workers is greatest.

Amusements and theme parks will offer the greatest number of summer jobs, while seasonal opportunities have declined in the fast-food industry as employers rely more heavily on year-round, part-time workers. Fast-food restaurants in areas of high tourist activity, however, will hire more workers during the summer months.

Government will provide some opportunities as state, county and municipal agencies plan to fill several hundred jobs in parks, summer camps, swimming pools and day-care centers. The New Jersey Turnpike Authority, which also operates the Garden State Parkway, expects to hire workers statewide for the summer season.

Resort communities along the state’s 127-mile coastline will have the most summer job opportunities again this year. For some businesses, the need for seasonal workers will hinge on favorable weather conditions; however, there is some consistency in the number of summer jobs created each year. For most workers, the economic success of a summer tourism season is more likely to be reflected in their weekly paychecks, as employers expand or reduce worker hours depending on business conditions.

Resort area employers indicated that there were few difficulties finding seasonal workers last year. However, this may have been largely due to the efforts of the employers to attract workers than to any other reason. Many employers increased their use of job fairs last year and will do so again this year.

Kroll also noted that the state will continue to provide information about and enforcement of the state’s Child Labor Law this season. New Jersey’s Child Labor Law limits the kinds of work persons under the age of 18 may be hired to perform and the hours they may work. For example, it classifies construction work as not suitable for persons under age 18, prohibits working with highly inflammable substances or in delicatessen/restaurant jobs where cutting or slicing is involved.

In addition, teens under 18 are prohibited from serving alcoholic beverages or working in video stores where R-rated movies were rented or sold. Employers who wish to obtain an abstract of the current New Jersey Child Labor Laws, a schedule of working hours and any other information concerning child labor should write to the Office of Wage and Hour Compliance, Division of Workplace Standards, New Jersey Department of Labor, PO Box 389, Trenton NJ 08625-0389. Anyone with questions about the Child Labor Law should call (609) 292-7860.

More detailed information is available below divided into three regions: Atlantic Coastal, Southern New Jersey, and Northern New Jersey.

The 2004 Summer Jobs Outlook by Region

Atlantic Coastal Region
(Atlantic, Cape May, Monmouth and Ocean Counties)

The shore area remains the state’s focal point for summer jobs for youth. Job levels typically jump by more than 40,000 from April to July, and this year should be no exception. While this upsurge includes a number of permanent year-round jobs, the majority are seasonal, filled by high school and college youth.

Summer job seekers are most likely to find success at amusements, hotels and motels, eating and drinking establishments, supermarkets, swim clubs, campgrounds, golf courses, landscaping and retail stores. The best retail job opportunities will be at businesses located in shore communities and along the boardwalks and promenades which dot the state’s coastline from Keansburg in northern Monmouth County to Cape May.

Shore municipalities also will employ youth in positions such as beach tag sales, lifeguards, and maintenance and recreation workers.

Atlantic Coastal region employers maintain a fairly consistent hiring pattern from year to year and increases in summer employment opportunities usually are related to expansions of existing businesses or new establishment openings. Some area officials indicated that more jobs may be available this year than last year since Jersey Shore tourism has continued to grow. Businesses are still coming into the area, especially restaurants and recreational places.

April survey results show most employers will hire at least the same number of workers as last year. Finding enough seasonal workers had been a problem in recent years, but it appears there were fewer difficulties last summer. This may be a reflection of greater and more creative efforts to attract workers by resort area employers, such as the increased use of job fairs.

According to some employers, the number of youth looking for jobs is higher this year than last. Consequently, employers will probably pay the same wages again this year. This year’s survey revealed that private sector wages for most seasonal jobs fall in the $5.50-to-$8.00/hour range with few jobs offering the current state minimum. Rates of pay appear very similar to a year ago, except that $6.00/hour increasingly seems to be the lower limit. When wages exceed $8.00/hour, it is usually for jobs that require a driver’s license, greater physical labor or a higher degree of skill or responsibility.

Higher wages are among a variety of methods used to attract and keep employees. Incentives and other benefits appear to be the norm again this year. Bonuses of a week’s pay or 25 cents for every hour worked continue for workers who remain on the job until the date they indicate when hired. Other methods are earlier and more far-reaching recruitments (including foreign students), employer-provided housing, free or subsidized bus transportation to the job, and employee “perks” such as discounts and company-sponsored activities and events for staff.

In Ocean County, Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson Township is a good example of a company employing a wide-range of employee attraction and retention strategies. The region’s and state’s largest amusement park employer will hire over 5,000 workers to account for turnover throughout the course of its season. In order to maintain its staffing needs, the park has recruited students from colleges around the country with on-site housing for 400 on a first come, first served basis.

Visiting students from abroad have an impact on the seasonal labor supply/demand equation in the region. There is no reliable way to predict their numbers or, more importantly, their destinations once they enter the country. While many foreign students make arrangements for jobs prior to their arrival, others seek employment after they reach their destinations. The advantage of hiring international students is that they do not start school until late in September or early October. This contrasts with the many local students whose return to school before or shortly after Labor Day often poses a staffing problem for employers during late August and September.

Jenkinson’s Beach, Boardwalk & Aquarium in Point Pleasant (Ocean County) is another large employer of youth for the summer. An estimated 1,300 workers will be needed to fill slots such as beach and parking lot attendants, arcade change-persons, ticket-takers and restaurant employees. Other large seasonal employers include the Casino Pier and Waterworks in Seaside Heights, which hires about 700 seasonal workers, and Funtown Pier in Seaside Park, which has about 100 seasonal positions. On Long Beach Island, Fantasy Island Amusement Park plans to accommodate about 250 seasonal positions. New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection is looking for 180 lifeguards to staff beaches at Island Beach State Park and other state parks all over the Garden State this summer. The pay starts at $7.50/hour.

In addition to returning college students and pari-mutuel workers, Monmouth County’s Monmouth Park racetrack in Oceanport will be adding about 500 seasonal workers. Also at Monmouth Park, the food concessionaire, Aramark, will need to fill over 175 job slots.

Summer time boardwalk traffic in Atlantic City means more jobs on Central Pier and the Steel Pier at Trump Taj Mahal. There also will be summer job opportunities in the city’s boardwalk shops and along “The Walk” which is the city’s newest retail corridor located near the new convention center. Renovations to the “Shops on Ocean One” pier mall, however, will keep the oceanfront shopping center closed again this summer. An influx of warm weather gamblers at Atlantic City’s 12 hotel-casinos, including the new Borgata hotel-casino, will fuel the need for 2,000-3,000 seasonal workers. However, some of these jobs have age and/or special gaming license requirements.

The crack of the bat and the smell of hot dogs will lure baseball fans to professional minor league parks in the region: the Sandcastle in Atlantic City and First Energy Park in Lakewood. The Sandcastle, home to the Atlantic City Surf, hires about 60 ticket-takers and ushers and about another 40 are hired by subcontractors as concession workers on game days and for other events. First Energy Park, home to the Lakewood BlueClaws, a Single A Affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, has been hosting sellouts for nearly all of their games at the park since their debut in April 2001 mainly due to marketing their team to Jersey Shore tourists. During their baseball season, the BlueClaws hire about 150 part-time workers to staff the concession stands, usher and attend the parking lots. Most jobs pay between $5.35/hour and $7.00/hour.

Cape May County’s four amusement piers, Morey’s Pier, Mariners Landing, Wild Wheels and Gillian’s Wonderland and four water parks in Wildwood, North Wildwood and Ocean City will hire a total of about 2,000 during the summer months to keep their operations fully staffed. Peak summer employment levels are probably in the range of 1,400 to 1,500, but the higher number represents replacement needs over the course of the summer.

The Delaware River and Bay Authority, operator of the Cape May (NJ)-Lewes (DE) Ferry, is another source of summer jobs, employing an additional 100 workers during the busy summer months.

Southern New Jersey Region
(Burlington, Camden, Cumberland, Gloucester, Mercer and Salem Counties)

Businesses in the Southern New Jersey Region have about the same number of summer jobs available as last year; however, more jobseekers than last year are expected to be competing for those positions. The majority of summer jobs this year will pay in the range of $6.00/hour to $9.00/hour. However, a few positions requiring special skills or heavy labor will range from $10.00/hour to $12.00/hour.

Summer job seekers in the South Jersey Region are most likely to find employment at amusement parks, grocery stores and recreation facilities. Always a source of jobs, Clementon Amusement Park in Camden County plans to fill about 150 positions. From 450 to 500 workers will be hired over the summer to account for turnover. Most positions at the park pay between $5.35/hour and $5.75/hour.

The New Jersey State Aquarium in Camden plans to hire for 50 to 75 summer positions, about the same number as last year. Although the aquarium will hire 16- and 17-year-old workers, those aged 18 and older are preferred. Workers under 18 can only be employed as attendants, who earn from $5.93/hour to $8.99/hour. Workers over 18 can also work as security guards and cashiers and earn between $6.21/hour and $9.30/hour. The part-time education staff (guides) are paid according to experience and can earn up to $10.00/hour.

To meet the needs of its peak concert season from Memorial Day to Labor Day, the Tweeter Center in Camden will hire staff on an as-needed basis for concerts and other events. A typical sold-out concert will create the need for 100 parking lot workers, 100 concession workers and 100-150 ushers, security guards and ticket-takers. These workers are hired through subcontractors. The jobs pay between $6.25/hour and $7.00/hour. The minimum age to work at the Tweeter Center is 18.

Two minor league ballparks in the region employ staff on an as-needed basis on game days and for other events. Campbell’s Field, home of the Camden Riversharks, hires security guards, ushers and ticket-takers, while subcontractors hire food workers and parking lot attendants. Most of the approximately 150 jobs pay between $6.00/hour and $7.50/hour. Employment usually totals about 200 at Waterfront Park, home of the Trenton Thunder. Ushers and ticket-takers work for the park, while food service subcontractors employ concession workers. The jobs pay from $8.00/hour to $12.00/hour.

Golf courses, country clubs and swim clubs in the region are planning to hire about the same number of summer employees as last year. Positions include lifeguards, groundskeepers and food service workers. The majority of these jobs will pay between $6.00/hour and $8.00/hour. Some skilled jobs, such as cook or golf pro, will pay over $10.00/hour. Once an important source of summer jobs in the region, many golf courses and country clubs are now year-round operations and are staffed mainly by permanent full- and part-time employees.

Fort Dix and McGuire Air Force Base, both located in Burlington County, have part-time summer positions available to civilians. While preference is given to dependents of military personnel, these jobs are available to anyone and all youth are encouraged to apply. These jobs include child-care workers, bartenders, food service workers, short order cooks, custodians/housekeepers, laborers, waiters/waitresses and lifeguards. Most positions pay between $7.00/hour and $9.00/hour, with some jobs requiring special skills paying more. About the same number of jobs are available as last year. Additionally, there are jobs available with the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), which runs a department store, a supermarket and food concessions on the post. AAFES hires sales clerks for $6.50/hour and food service workers for $7.98/hour. There will be about the same number of jobs as last year, between 350 and 450 summer openings.

Youth seeking summer employment should also look into temporary employment agencies. Temporary employment agencies, however, require applicants to be at least 18 years old. About the same number of jobs is available this year as last year and mostly includes clerical and warehouse jobs. Warehouse jobs offered through temporary agencies generally pay between $7.00/hour and $12.00/hour and office jobs generally pay between $9.00/hour and $12.00/hour.

Although not large, the number of summer jobs in southern regional factories and warehouses will be about the same as last year. Child labor laws and job requirements limit nearly all of these positions to those who are at least 18 years old. Most summer factory or warehouse jobs pay between $7.00/hour and $9.00/hour.

The US Postal Service also hires individuals who are at least 18 years old to work as mail carriers, counter clerks or mail handlers. These jobs pay between $11.00/hour and $14.00/hour. The United Parcel Service hires college-aged persons as package handlers for $8.50/hour while moving companies hire older youths over the summer as driver’s helpers.

Summer job opportunities are also expected at nurseries and landscaping contractors this year. Nursery stores employ high school and college age youth as cashiers and to maintain trees and shrubs. Landscapers employ youth 18 and older to cut grass and maintain trees and shrubs. Most summer jobs at nursery stores pay between $5.50/hour and $7.00/hour and jobs with landscapers pay between $7.00/hour and $8.00/hour.

Some seasonal-related hiring is also expected at retail establishments, most notably supermarkets and department stores. Most stores will hire 16 year-olds while a few will hire youth as young as 14. Generally, supermarkets, clothing and department stores pay sales workers and stock clerks wages ranging from $5.50/hour to $7.50/hour. Youth 18 and older can expect more job opportunities and slightly higher wages than high school students; child labor laws prohibit high school-aged youth from working after 11 p.m. or operating hazardous machinery, such as meat grinders and slicers. For instance, Home Depot hires college-aged youth over the summer for sales, stock or receiving positions that may involve operating forklifts or heavy lifting or product knowledge and these positions generally pay between $8.00/hour and $10.00/hour.

For the general youth population, most Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) and New Jersey Department of Labor One-Stop Career Centers organize and/or participate in job fairs to provide youth with access to employment opportunities with private-sector employers and community organizations. The WIBs expect more employers and youth to participate in job fairs this year than last.

Northern New Jersey Region
(Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren Counties)

Employers in the Northern Region expect to be hiring summer workers at about the same level or better as last year. Although the job market is expected to be good, younger workers may face more competition for the better paying jobs from college students and from older workers looking for additional income. The continuing trend of turning some traditionally summer jobs into year-round, part-time jobs, particularly in retail stores and restaurants, may dampen purely seasonal hiring. This year, most summer job opportunities will be in amusement and theme parks, country and swim clubs and government. Also, jobs will be available at nurseries, garden centers, and landscaping and lawn maintenance firms.

Employers who responded to the survey indicated that the pay for most of these summer jobs should range from $5.50/hour to $12.00/hour, depending on age and experience. Northern employers tend to pay wages above the minimum rate due to the region’s higher cost of living and the difficulty in finding enough workers. Jobs at fast-food restaurants and retail establishments generally pay wages at the lower end of the scale.

In the region, many summer jobs will be found at amusement and theme parks. Wild West City in Morris County, Mountain Creek Waterpark in Sussex County and the Land of Make Believe in Warren County together plan to hire between 650 and 750 workers for the summer season, with the majority of those hired at Mountain Creek. These positions include cashiers, food service workers, lifeguards, maintenance workers, parking attendants, retail clerks and ride attendants.

There will also be employment opportunities this summer at minor league baseball parks in the region. Commerce Bank Ballpark in Somerset County, home of the Somerset Patriots, Riverfront Stadium in Essex County, home of the Newark Bears, and Skylands Park in Sussex County, home of the New Jersey Cardinals, will need staff to work as cashiers, concession workers, maintenance workers, parking attendants, ticket-takers and ushers on game days and during other events. Some of these jobs will be filled through subcontractors.

On a limited basis, formal summer internships at private-sector firms should be available in a variety of industries. These jobs are generally only available to college students with specific academic and curriculum-related requirements. Most often, these jobs are usually arranged through agreements between colleges and firms.

Several hundred jobs in the public sector will be filled at parks, summer camps, swimming pools, golf courses and day-care centers throughout the 11-county region. In the private sector, recreational facilities such as country clubs, golf courses, swim clubs and tennis clubs are also good sources for summer jobs.

Throughout the region, local Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) oversee federally funded programs for disadvantaged youth aged 14 to 21 through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). While WIA programs tend to focus on year-round employment, they also include some summer employment opportunities, which are generally a combination of classroom training and work place experience. While only a relatively small number, the number of summer jobs for disadvantaged youth is expected to be slightly higher than last year.

Posted by: Staff at
June 02, 2004


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