There are 1,400 jobs available right now in Atlantic City's casinos, but only 350 of them are full-time positions, according to a survey undertaken by a New Jersey casino regulator.
Matt Levinson, chairman of the Casino Control Commission, told The Associated Press on Thursday that he called officials at all eight casinos to find out what jobs are available. While most of the openings are temporary seasonal jobs for the summer, even those will help a market that lost 8,000 jobs when four casinos shut down last year.
"There have been two job fairs in Atlantic City this week — events that underscored how significant the unemployment challenge is in the Atlantic City area — and news reports about them quoted people who said they were desperate to find work," he said. "But in recent weeks I had also been hearing that there are jobs available in casinos here. So I took it upon myself to contact GMs at each casino company here to get an idea of just how many job openings are currently available, and I was surprised to learn that casinos are looking to hire more than 1,400 people today."
The overwhelming majority of the jobs are temporary seasonal positions that the casinos offer each year at this time to ramp up staffing for the summer season, when they are busiest.
"Yes, there are a lot of seasonal and temporary jobs out there, but there are jobs available immediately at Atlantic City's casino hotels that can provide a meaningful employment for a significant number of people and a short-term boost for others that could lead to full-time employment down the road," Levinson said.
Robert Hall, who hasn't found work since his seasonal job as a cook at the Borgata ended last fall, was one of many applicants who showed up Wednesday at a job fair at The Chelsea, a non-casino hotel that offered nearly 100 jobs, most of them seasonal.
"Even a temporary job is better than no job at all," he said.
So far, there is no central registry of casino job openings, but Levinson said the city is working to create one.
Openings include casino dealers, food and beverage servers, and hotel service workers.
Wayne Parry can be reached at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC