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'We just have less people applying': Teens in good position for summer jobs

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Posted at 4:21 PM, Jun 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-21 17:44:50-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The cost of hiring summer employees appears to be a little higher this year.

“We have an online application on our website and we just have less people applying,” said Jane VanWingerden from the Pedal Power Bike Shop.

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Jane said her store doesn’t aggressively advertise its job openings but could start doing so if needed. Because less competition means there’s likely to be fewer quality people, it could lead to a higher wage for those who are applying for and being offered these jobs.

“My friends are saying the same thing I have; it’s a little bit more than I’ve been paid in the past,” said Clara Bradley.

Clara is a Western Kentucky University fashion major who is spending her summer working at Bella Rose Boutique in Lexington.

Betty Spain is the owner here. She usually has a long list of job applicants every summer, and this year has been no different, but she also starts this process six months in advance. Other employers around town have been swimming in an applicant pool that isn’t nearly as deep this year.

“I just walked in, scanned the QR code, and then they asked me for an interview,” McKenzie Pemberton said.

McKenzie is a Morehead State student working at Agave and Rye downtown, where more money isn’t necessarily the draw, given service industry employees usually rely on tips.

“We offer certain benefits as well, which makes it more competitive, as well as the culture we provide here,” said Agave and Rye manager, Dani McQuarrie.

Certainly, no one will go out of business having to pay seasonal employees/students a few extra bucks this summer, but it could certainly offer the younger generation a nice cushion once the school year begins again in the fall.

“Everyone seems to be hiring. Start-ups and large companies are doing entry-level jobs, so my friends have had a lot of options,” said recent UK graduate, Camille Downing. She too is working at Bella Rose.

“These gals are worth it,” Mrs. Spain said when asked if paying a little more per hour is the cost of doing business these days.