By David Schuman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Young Minnesotans have a major opportunity to make some extra cash.

Last month, 33% of 16 to 19 year olds nationwide had a job. That’s the highest rate since the last recession. Yet some local businesses that traditionally employ teenagers are having trouble so far this summer.

READ MORE: Man Killed In North Minneapolis Hit-And-Run Identified As 52-Year-Old Sean Gist

Cherie Ritter, owner of Two Scoops Ice Cream, is advertising scooper positions for her locations in Anoka and Osseo. The listing boasts a wage of $16.25 to $18.00 an hour, which is the base salary plus what Ritter says are average tips.

Alexis Horn, 15, will work 10 to 15 hours a week at the Osseo location starting Wednesday. Billy Russell, 14, grabbed an application on Tuesday.

“[I want] to get out of the house, be productive, and just not be bored all day,” Russell said.

Ritter’s ad has been posted for weeks, and she’s still looking to hire up to 10 more people for the summer.

(credit: CBS)

“I don’t know if it’s the higher salaries that they’ve been getting or they got used to having time at home because of COVID, but they’re busier with other things,” Ritter said.

READ MORE: Minnesota Weather: Even After Air Quality Alert Expires, Haze Expected To Linger Into The Weekend

Experts say many employers are struggling to find talent, one reason being unemployment benefits can pay better than some jobs.

Hamse Warfa, Minnesota’s deputy commissioner for workforce development, says there are some creative strategies being used in the state.

“Incentive programs, you know, wage increase to make sure, you know, that companies are attracting young people. First 90-day bonuses if you get hired,” Warfa said.

The state projects more than 140,000 workers will be hired over the next year in industries likely to hire teenagers, like food service and retail.

Ritter and her manager, Bill Sorensen, say they love working with young people.

“You get to know them, and then they start to feel like you’re family,” Ritter said.

MORE NEWS: Woman Found Beheaded On Shakopee Sidewalk; 42-Year-Old Man Arrested

Minnesota has several resources available for both job hunters and employers. Click here for more information.

David Schuman