National numbers show the unemployment rate for teens is at a high 30% and in Bay County, the latest numbers show about 21% of teens can't cash in on a summer paycheck. Teens are now competing with more experienced adults for entry-level jobs and getting that summer paycheck is becoming an increasingly daunting task.
Working full-time as a hostess at Buffalo Wild Wings, 19-year old Hailey Sisco is grateful for her current summer gig, as she says her friends are giving trouble this year reeling in employers and hooking a job. She says if he brother hadn't helped her get the job last year, she'd probably be in the same boat.
"If I would have not worked here last summer and tried to apply this summer, I probably wouldn't of got hired because I stand here all day and I probably get like 15 applications a day," Sisco said.
Buffalo Wild Wings' General Manager Peter Bruckner says that wave of applications are people who range in all ages and all different levels of experience.
"We see a lot of people who have been laid off who and have had a hard time finding a line of work in their profession and waiting tables is a great way to get you through to your next job," Bruckner said.
Gulf Coast Workforce Center experts say that's been the growing trend in the last few years.
"Where we used to have kids filling these summer jobs, we now have older workers, experienced workers many people with degrees who are taking job you know they wouldn't have thought of taking before," said the Workforce Board's Executive Director, Kim Bodine.
At Buffalo Wild Wings, teens' applications are shuffled into a pile of more than 500 applications that have been turned in just in the last three weeks, even competing with some people with engineering degrees, but Bruckner says it's not all about what's on paper.
"Experience is great, but it's not everything. A lot of times people who have never had jobs before are the best employees, because they come in with an open mind," Bruckner added.
He says its okay for teens to be persistent after applying, but polite persistence will lead to smooth sailing into that summer job. Bodine also advices teens to go into a job interview confident and positive, selling yourself and your skills.