As the official start of summer inches closer, many students and recent grads have started looking for summer jobs, but the competition is making it tough.
Local employers say they're seeing more applications than in past seasons, making it harder on job seekers. They say if you want to be working for that summer cash you can't afford to wait till the last minute. The early bird gets the job.
"Today is June 14th. If you're a student looking for a summer job, May is your month to look," said labor expert Martin Aguirre with Workforce Solutions of the South Plains.
Workforce helps interested applicants in their job search. Amanda Luna, 22, is just one of those seeking employment. She's been searching for the past month, and still hasn't been hired. Luna says she's looked for positions in customer service, retail, and restaurants.
"I'm not applying for just restaurants. I'm applying for anything now," Luna said.
At the new Cardinal's Sports Center off Slide Road there is a heavy stack of applications. "We always get a few applications over the summer, but this year we've probably seen it increase tenfold," said GM Brad Wyatt.
Eddie Owens with United Supermarkets says they are seeing more applicants, too. "We feel certain that were seeing a greater number of applicants this time compared to last year."
Owens says United starts looking to fill summer positions as early as April. The City of Lubbock hires summer staff for the pools months in advance, too.
Some job seekers like Macy Bryant were lucky enough to find work. "I wanted to have something to do this summer and also make some money."
Bryant's application was just another paper in the pile, until Cardinal's hired her to work in their new coffee bar. She wasn't the only one who got a call.
"We've added between 30 and 50 positions. We thought we were fully staffed but it looks like we're probably going to need about 20 more," Wyatt said.
Many of the newly hired employees were working to prepare for the store's soft opening Wednesday. Wyatt says they are still accepting applications to fill as many as 20 part-time jobs.
There are jobs in the Hub City this summer, but Aguirre says more competition can make it harder to earn that cold cash in the hot heat. "Most of those entry level jobs that were typically a first job for students and younger workers right now have been filled with people with experience."
If you don't have a timecard to punch just yet, employers say opportunities should open back up, just before school starts.
"Cranks up again in about 3 months, just before school starts," Owens said.
Wyatt said Cardinal's will hire additional help when school starts, too.
©2011 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.