Valleyfair ride operators are getting a pay raise for the 2019 season

Rates will rise from $12-an-hour to $14-an-hour.
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Some of those planning to work at Valleyfair this summer can expect better pay than in previous years, with the theme park announcing a $2 increase in wages for its ride operators.

The Shakopee theme park says those hired as ride operators this summer can expect to be paid $14-an-hour, up from the $12-an-hour it was in previous years.

The park once again plans to welcome its usual influx of 2,000 seasonal workers for the summer, but is leaving it late to fill all its positions given that the attraction opens its doors this Saturday.

It sounds as though it's struggling to get all the ride operators it needs, as it cited a tight labor market as the reason for offering better rates to potential employees.

"Rides are the reason people come to our park and our ride operators do an incredible job creating awesome experiences for our guests," said Melissa Lutz, Valleyfair HR director.

"The labor market remains tight and we want to be sure we are staying a top choice for local employment."

To become a ride operator, you need to be a minimum of 18 years old, with each hire getting full training from the theme park before starting.

The theme park says there are still job opportunities available throughout its park, whether it's on rides, concessions, security, admissions, EMTs and lifeguards, retail, or other positions.

You can visit to apply.

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Valleyfair isn't the only one struggling to fill positions. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development's latest figures show there were 137,000 job vacancies in the 4th quarter of 2018 – a 20 percent rise on a year earlier.

Of those, 76,500 vacancies were in the seven-county Twin Cities metro – 11.2 percent more than a year earlier.

The unemployment rate in Minnesota was at a seasonally adjusted rate of 3.2 percent in March.

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