More teenagers employed as Midstate businesses continue to look for workers

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WEST HANOVER TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WHTM) — The U.S. added 560,000 jobs in May. That’s less than analysts had predicted. It could be an indicator that businesses can’t fill open jobs.

That’s the story for many businesses in the Midstate.

One source of help is coming from teenagers. The employment rate of teens, specifically those 16 to 19 is the highest it’s been since 2008. For those looking for work, this summer is wide open.

The overall unemployment rate continues to trend downward, yet JoJo’s on 22 still can’t find takers.

“We are looking for, really looking for servers and counter help, even kitchen help, but we have ads pretty much everywhere. We tried Indeed, we tried Facebook,” Francesco Randazzo said.

They’re looking for applicants who will actually follow through.

“What we run into is people come in for interviews and we hire them on the spot and next day come in, start training, and people just don’t show up,” Randazzo said.

They do have reliable employees, some of who are teenagers.

“They want to come out and sometimes it’s their parents telling them that they have to come out and get a job, but they’re most of the time, they’re really good workers,” Randazzo said.

Greystone Brew House in Dillsburg still has positions that need to be filled, though its Harrisburg location is pretty much full.

“A lot of work out there and it’s probably the highest paying work that you’re going to see in a long time,” owner Jason Viscount said.

A lot of Viscount’s employees are teenagers, some making $15 an hour.

“Some are at tipped positions, some are washing dishes, some are prep cooks,” Viscount said.

He’s starting to look more at personality than experience.

“The teens don’t have experience and so we’ll do the training. We just have to have that outgoing personality to work with,” Viscount said.

“If you’re willing to work hard and do the work you’re going to get paid and advance in any industry right now,” he said.

The White House says fewer teens are working now than they were earlier this spring, but a lot more are working now than before the pandemic began.

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