OCEAN CITY, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Another summer at the Jersey shore, another mad dash to find enough workers for some businesses.
"We hire about 80 people," said hiring manager Marina Salugta. "I think right now we're less than half of what we usually are."
Folks at the Promenade Food Court on the boardwalk in Ocean City say last season they had to cut operating hours because of a lack of staff.
They say they're paying above minimum wage and offering flexible schedules to entice people to apply.
"We will hire them for maybe the month that they're here," said Salugta. "We're not like, 'Oh you need to work from the beginning of the summer to the end.' At this point it's like, 'You give me what you can get.'"
Last year, while consumer demand was back post-COVID, many businesses had "help wanted" signs up all summer long.
While hiring is still a challenge for some, there are signs that it's getting better.
"This year we've had some great employees year over year, so a lot of them just come back every year," said Jason Carlisi, manager at the 7th Street Surf Shop on Asbury Ave.
The Shirt Shack on the boardwalk is still hiring.
"We are still looking," said manager Debbie Landi. "We have a couple of J-1s that just came in and we are still looking for some local kids and a couple more."
The Cape May County Chamber of Commerce has about 800 members.
Membership and Marketing Director John Kelly says those international J-1 visa students are expected to be back to pre-COVID levels this summer.
"A lot of the roadblocks in other countries that were preventing the students from getting their paperwork in order and coming over here to work seems to have cleared up," said Kelly.
He also says they're hearing from fewer businesses asking the chamber to post job openings, something that frequently happened last year.
"This summer, so far, we haven't had as much outreach from our members really desperate for workers," said Kelly.
He also says some businesses are throwing in some creative perks, some even buying motels and converting them into summer housing for seasonal workers.