Some Utah employers struggling to find workers

Posted at 11:32 AM, Apr 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-08 13:32:23-04

SALT LAKE CITY — As businesses and Utah continue to rebound from the pandemic, many are starting their search for seasonal employees for the summer.

Yvette Woodland with the department of workforce services says now is the time to find seasonal employment.

“In our job matching system we have over 46,000 jobs that are available right now for job seekers to access,” said Woodland.

While a number of those jobs listed are full-time, some are seasonal. One place that’s looking for summer help is Utah's Hogle Zoo.

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"We’re looking for guest services professionals. We need people to help us in the bistro. if you’re an awesome ice cream server, we need ice cream people, we need people who can do popcorn, we need ticket takers,” said Hogle Zoo spokeswoman Erica Hansen.

The pay scale ranges from $10-$16 an hour, depending on experience. The zoo is looking to hire people as young as 14, as many of the open positions are great for teens.

"It’s a great starter job for people that are just kind of maybe looking to get into the job market. It’s a great first job. It's a wonderful atmosphere up here, it’s a great team of people, so if you’re kind of maybe even wondering if your teen is ready to take that step, the zoo is a great starter place,” said Hansen.

Although the pandemic led to significant job losses in Utah and around the nation, some employers, including Hogle Zoo, are having a tough time finding workers.

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"This has been a remarkably difficult year, I think something happened with COVID, maybe something with some of the unemployment payments and payouts, everybody is scrambling to try and find good help,” said Hansen.

The Department of Workforce Services says there may be a reason for that.

"We have a really low unemployment rate in Utah. It’s always challenging to fill the jobs and find the talent when the unemployment rate is lower,” said Woodland.

However, DWS says it can help connect employers to people looking for work and vice versa.

“I don’t think job seekers should sell themselves short. I think some [people] are holding out for what they did before. That might not have recovered as well as some of the other industries and so they do need to think about their transferable skills and what they have to offer,” said Woodland.

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