Employers struggle to fill seasonal jobs
Snow is scarce and the number of visitors in town is down from the year before, but employers are still trying to fill seasonal positions.
According the Department of Workforce Services statistics, Summit County has an unemployment rate of 4.9 percent, the lowest in the state. The Utah unemployment rate, 5.1 percent, is better than the national average, 7.9 percent.
"Local businesses are having a hard time finding locals to fill jobs," said Darrin Nielsen, the employment office supervisor for the Park City DWS offices.
Between large employers and incoming businesses, there are roughly 4,000 seasonal jobs in Summit County. The two most difficult positions to fill are housekeepers and line cooks.
DWS has felt the burden as more employers reach out for help filling positions and a waning interest in seasonal work. Through the DWS website, the number of job postings has stayed relatively the same from last year, around 3,800 seasonal jobs. But Nielsen said the office involvement with employers has grown exponentially, that employers reaching out to DWS had grown by an estimated 400 percent.
"Job vacancies have been longer this year than in the past," Nielman said. " More employers are involving DWS this year than we have ever had in the past because they need our help to find people to staff these positions."
Despite the three resorts being open, lodging numbers continue on a downward trend as fewer guests are in town, a fact that has helped resorts manage with fewer employees on staff as the ski season begins.
"We’re seeing similar trends from last year," he added. "The resorts have enough employees to open, but it’s still dry they have people on the books who have committed to work, but they are not all working.
"If it was two years ago, I think they would be hurting."
There have been more job fairs and more refugees being hired. DWS held more job fairs for winter seasonal jobs than ever before. There were seven job fairs in Summit and Wasatch counties, and even job fairs tailored to specific employers such as Tanger Outlets.
Another trend DWS has seen is people accepting jobs at the last minute.
"People are holding on," Nielman said. "They are reluctant to commit to a job because they were trying to find something that was better. Now, positions are getting filled."
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