The living’s not easy for worker-hungry U.S. businesses this summertime

SANTA CRUZ, Calif./WASHINGTON, June 30 (Reuters) – Loading riders onto the Giant Dipper, California’s oldest roller coaster and the star attraction of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, is not how Karl Rice thought he’d be spending his summer.

But Rice, whose family runs the Northern California amusement park, got a later-than-usual start in hiring workers after reopening in April, following a year-long shutdown triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. So far, he has managed to scrape together only about half of the roughly 1,900 employees needed to handle the busy summer season.

The 114-year-old amusement park is buzzing with customers reveling in their post-lockdown freedom, and with the season’s biggest crowds yet expected over the July 4 holiday weekend, “it’s sort of all hands on deck,” Rice said.

All the executives are working attractions or food stands at least once a week this summer, and Rice, the president of the Boardwalk, takes on two eight-hour…

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