At Jenkinson's Boardwalk in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J., they've noticed a big change in teenagers who used to shun summer work.
"I was tired of asking my Mom for money so I wanna get my own job and get my own money," said Angela Dalda, 15 of Clifton, N.J. in describing why she's looking for a job this summer.
In recent years, statistics have shown fewer and fewer teens seeking summer work. In 2009, MTV's 'Jersey Shore' reality show caught the flavor of a summer of perpetual sloth.
And at Jenkinson's, they used to get about 600 applications at its March job fair, forcing them to look to teenagers from overseas to help run the arcade games and rides that make it one of the most popular tourist destinations on the Jersey Shore.
But fewer foreigners are expected to be hired this summer, because local applications more than doubled, to a total of about 1500, according to spokeswoman Marilou Halvorsen.
"The economy was good so there really wasn't a need, parents had discretionary money to give kids for the all the extra things they wanted," Halvorsen said in explaining why it was so hard to recruit local teens in recent years.
Now, with the jobless rate around 10% nationally, and parents struggling to pay a mortgage or rent, teens are looking for work.
Even Halvorsen's daughter, Sami, 14, will be working this summer at her mom's workplace for a minimum wage. And she knows a lot of kids in her school who want to.
"A lot of my close friends and just a lot of random kids in the school would say they know what my mom does, 'That would sound like a cool job, I want that,'" Sami Halvorsen said.
There are still teens who don't feel they have to work -- 15 year old Kendall Fogler, of Wall, N.J., is one.
"I like having fun in the summer and my family is like supportive also," said Fogler.
But she quickly added that next summer, she hopes to have a job at the gym where she currently does her gymnastics training.