The U.S. economy added 467,000 jobs in January, and the unemployment rate was 4.0%. The figure shows evidence of an extraordinary recovery from the recession created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The jobless rate in April 2020 cratered to 14.7%, as America shed 20.5 million jobs in a month.
Evidence of the difficulty companies have encountered as they attempt to find workers can be seen everywhere. What is known as “the great resignation” shows a combination of workers who left low-paid jobs, people who retired early, people who held off returning to work because they received government assistance and some who were stuck at home as they cared for children who could not return to school.
Companies in many cases have had to pay higher wages to draw workers. Income across the economy has generally risen. None of this has entirely solved the problem. Almost 11 million jobs were open at the end of December.
WalletHub’s recently released 2022’s States Where Employers Are Struggling the Most in Hiring report relied on Bureau of Labor Statistics data on the “jobs open rate” last month and the figure for the past 12 months. All 50 states and the District of Columbia were included. The report made the point: “During the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of Americans lost their jobs and experienced financial difficulties due to unemployment. Now, for many employers, the shoe is on the other foot. Lots of businesses are struggling to hire enough workers, which has sometimes led to delays in services and reduced business hours.”
This trend may further fuel the current inflation number, as wages rise as a means to fill those open jobs.
Alaska topped the list of states where businesses have struggled the most to find workers. The jobs open rate last month was 8.40%, against a rate of 8.14% in the past 12 months. Alaska was followed by Vermont at 8.90%, against a rate of 6.96% over the last 12 months.
These are the 10 states where employers have the most difficulty finding workers:
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