Local Businesses Look for Holiday Help

By: Stephen McLamb, Bureau Chief
By: Stephen McLamb, Bureau Chief

Gatlinburg, Sevier County (WVLT) - Low unemployment figures are good for the state but what does that mean if you want a part-time job for the holidays?

Volunteer TV's Stephen McLamb is in the newsroom with more on what you should be doing to get the extra cash for Christmas.

Places like Gatlinburg are gearing up for the holiday season starting later this month.

As the unemployment rate goes down, some employers say so does the labor pool which makes finding extra holiday help difficult.

Going into the holiday season in Gatlinburg is one of the busiest times of the year and with recently announced low unemployment it sounds like everything is just great, right?

"As a citizen of Tennessee I absolutely love the fact that that's the case. As an employer, it's probably the worst news I could possibly have," says Ryan DeSear, General Manger for Ripley's Entertainment.

The low unemployment rate is making for a smaller labor pool.

"This is the biggest time of the year for us right now, this time of year, and it's the time of year we have the least amount of employees," says Don Pierce, General Manager at Smoky Mountain Brewery.

Places like the Smoky Mountain Brewery are desperately looking for extra help.

"I would say I could use probably 15 to 16 employees," says Pierce.

"More?" asks McLamb.

"Yes," he replies.

"If I could hire some more I would probably have at least another ten or fifteen," says DeSear.

So places like Ripley's Haunted House and the Brewery are having managers step in and take other steps to make due.

"We're doing everything from bussing tables to cooking food to taking orders to tending bar," Pierce says.

"Overtime to start with, that's obviously a big deal," DeSear says.

But they are also doing things to attract employees like giving workers competitive wages above what you would find elsewhere.

"First of all to attract people and second to keep people," Pierce says.

"Since we offer health insurance, it's made our job all the more valuable and we've had a lot more applicants because of that," DeSear adds.

DeSear says they are even keeping the business open during odd hours to drum up business where they can spread the staff around.

So if you need a job this holiday season, Gatlinburg might just be right for you. You can stop at both locations to pick up an application.


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