Special Report

States with the Most Job Openings

Win McNamee / Getty Images News via Getty Images

Though by many measures the economy is still recovering rapidly from the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. job growth continues to be strong. Still, many companies and businesses are struggling to find and hire workers as the number of unfilled jobs has hit a multi-decade high in recent months. There were 11.3 million job openings nationwide at the end of January 2022, a 56% increase from a year earlier. 

Causes of the historic labor shortage are varied. During the pandemic, early retirements surged, parents of school-age children left the workforce en masse, and immigration slowed considerably – resulting in millions of fewer workers than there otherwise would have been. Additionally, some argue that enhanced unemployment benefits and economic stimulus payments during the pandemic reduced the incentive for many Americans to work. This is what it costs to retire comfortably in each state

Today, the labor force participation rate – the share of Americans 16 and older either working or looking for work – stands at 62.3%, a low not seen in the pre-pandemic United States since 1977. The national labor shortage is putting a strain on businesses across the country, forcing some to reduce hours and others to close completely. 

Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 24/7 Wall St. identified the states with the most job openings. States are ranked by the share of all jobs that were unfilled as of the end of January 2022, the most recent month of available data. Depending on the state, the share of jobs that remain unfilled ranges from 5.8% up to 8.8% of all jobs. For context, 7.0% of jobs nationwide are unfilled. 

Despite the need for workers, a small percentage of the labor force remains unemployed, suggesting that among those who are unemployed there is a mismatch between either the skills employers are seeking and the labor pool or the kind of work or benefits job seekers desire and what is available. The national unemployment rate stood at 4.0% in January 2022. Depending on the state, unemployment ranges from 2.2% to 5.9%. Here is a look at the worst states to look for a job

Click here to see states with the most job openings
Click here to see our detailed methodology

Source: roman_slavik / iStock via Getty Images

50. Washington
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 5.8% of all jobs (213,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 4.4%
> 1-year change in job openings: +31.5%
> Labor force size: 3,961,146 people

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Source: FilippoBacci / Getty Images

49. New York
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 5.9% of all jobs (588,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 5.3%
> 1-year change in job openings: +64.7%
> Labor force size: 9,392,186 people

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

48. Texas
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 6.3% of all jobs (885,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 4.8%
> 1-year change in job openings: +60.3%
> Labor force size: 14,333,602 people

Source: choness / Getty Images

47. California
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 6.3% of all jobs (1,148,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 5.8%
> 1-year change in job openings: +65.2%
> Labor force size: 19,064,484 people

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Source: maxmironov / Getty Images

46. Mississippi
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 6.4% of all jobs (79,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 4.6%
> 1-year change in job openings: +25.4%
> Labor force size: 1,252,236 people

Source: BlazenImages / Getty Images

45. Arkansas
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 6.4% of all jobs (89,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 3.2%
> 1-year change in job openings: +30.9%
> Labor force size: 1,334,885 people

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Source: Davel5957 / Getty Images

44. Kansas
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 6.4% of all jobs (94,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 2.6%
> 1-year change in job openings: +32.4%
> Labor force size: 1,495,643 people

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

43. Alabama
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 6.4% of all jobs (141,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 3.1%
> 1-year change in job openings: +28.2%
> Labor force size: 2,250,379 people

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

42. Oklahoma
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 6.6% of all jobs (118,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 2.7%
> 1-year change in job openings: +34.1%
> Labor force size: 1,850,630 people

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Source: 4kodiak / Getty Images

41. Nevada
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 6.7% of all jobs (102,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 5.2%
> 1-year change in job openings: +36.0%
> Labor force size: 1,493,864 people

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

40. Connecticut
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 6.7% of all jobs (117,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 5.3%
> 1-year change in job openings: +72.1%
> Labor force size: 1,867,354 people

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Source: Creative-Family / Getty Images

39. New Jersey
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 6.7% of all jobs (298,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 5.2%
> 1-year change in job openings: +43.3%
> Labor force size: 4,643,011 people

Source: Jaimie Tuchman / Getty Images

38. Louisiana
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 6.8% of all jobs (138,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 4.3%
> 1-year change in job openings: +34.0%
> Labor force size: 2,069,163 people

Source: pabradyphoto / Getty Images

37. South Dakota
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 6.9% of all jobs (33,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 2.8%
> 1-year change in job openings: +37.5%
> Labor force size: 470,653 people

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Source: Adam-Springer / Getty Images

36. Hawaii
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 6.9% of all jobs (44,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 4.4%
> 1-year change in job openings: +63.0%
> Labor force size: 673,681 people

Source: 4nadia / Getty Images

35. Oregon
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 7.0% of all jobs (145,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 4.3%
> 1-year change in job openings: +39.4%
> Labor force size: 2,168,038 people

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Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

34. Wisconsin
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 7.0% of all jobs (220,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 3.0%
> 1-year change in job openings: +76.0%
> Labor force size: 3,136,984 people

Source: Ronald E Grafe / Getty Images

33. Ohio
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 7.0% of all jobs (410,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 4.3%
> 1-year change in job openings: +61.4%
> Labor force size: 5,743,557 people

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

32. West Virginia
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 7.1% of all jobs (53,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 4.1%
> 1-year change in job openings: +6.0%
> Labor force size: 793,302 people

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Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

31. Massachusetts
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 7.1% of all jobs (277,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 4.8%
> 1-year change in job openings: +88.4%
> Labor force size: 3,767,170 people

Source: aoldman / Getty Images

30. Wyoming
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 7.2% of all jobs (22,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 3.8%
> 1-year change in job openings: +37.5%
> Labor force size: 290,122 people

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Source: mattalberts / Getty Images

29. Idaho
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 7.2% of all jobs (63,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 3.0%
> 1-year change in job openings: +50.0%
> Labor force size: 924,469 people

Source: Davel5957 / Getty Images

28. Iowa
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 7.2% of all jobs (121,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 3.7%
> 1-year change in job openings: +65.8%
> Labor force size: 1,680,376 people

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

27. Virginia
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 7.2% of all jobs (310,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 3.3%
> 1-year change in job openings: +50.5%
> Labor force size: 4,277,757 people

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Source: RickSause / Getty Images

26. North Carolina
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 7.2% of all jobs (359,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 3.9%
> 1-year change in job openings: +23.4%
> Labor force size: 5,007,262 people

Source: Adventure_Photo / Getty Images

25. Utah
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 7.3% of all jobs (129,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 2.2%
> 1-year change in job openings: +74.3%
> Labor force size: 1,694,020 people

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Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

24. Florida
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 7.3% of all jobs (725,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 3.5%
> 1-year change in job openings: +77.7%
> Labor force size: 10,448,456 people

Source: tonda / Getty Images

23. Arizona
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 7.4% of all jobs (241,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 3.7%
> 1-year change in job openings: +51.6%
> Labor force size: 3,536,384 people

Source: Davel5957 / Getty Images

22. Indiana
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 7.4% of all jobs (251,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 2.4%
> 1-year change in job openings: +67.3%
> Labor force size: 3,304,953 people

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Source: miroslav_1 / Getty Images

21. Montana
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 7.5% of all jobs (41,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 2.7%
> 1-year change in job openings: +46.4%
> Labor force size: 554,986 people

Source: Davel5957 / Getty Images

20. Maryland
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 7.5% of all jobs (217,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 5.4%
> 1-year change in job openings: +55.0%
> Labor force size: 3,196,404 people

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Source: f11photo / Getty Images

19. Missouri
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 7.5% of all jobs (236,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 3.8%
> 1-year change in job openings: +74.8%
> Labor force size: 3,075,707 people

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

18. Georgia
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 7.5% of all jobs (380,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 3.2%
> 1-year change in job openings: +23.8%
> Labor force size: 5,215,701 people

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

17. North Dakota
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 7.6% of all jobs (35,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 3.1%
> 1-year change in job openings: +75.0%
> Labor force size: 408,079 people

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Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

16. Rhode Island
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 7.6% of all jobs (40,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 4.2%
> 1-year change in job openings: +66.7%
> Labor force size: 568,798 people

Source: Planet Unicorn / Getty Images

15. Colorado
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 7.6% of all jobs (231,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 4.1%
> 1-year change in job openings: +69.9%
> Labor force size: 3,187,417 people

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Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

14. Tennessee
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 7.6% of all jobs (262,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 3.5%
> 1-year change in job openings: +70.1%
> Labor force size: 3,346,422 people

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

13. Illinois
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 7.6% of all jobs (488,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 5.0%
> 1-year change in job openings: +88.4%
> Labor force size: 6,378,180 people

Source: Davel5957 / Getty Images

12. New Mexico
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 7.7% of all jobs (69,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 5.9%
> 1-year change in job openings: +56.8%
> Labor force size: 944,607 people

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Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

11. South Carolina
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 7.7% of all jobs (183,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 3.5%
> 1-year change in job openings: +38.6%
> Labor force size: 2,374,682 people

Source: ChrisBoswell / Getty Images

10. Nebraska
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 7.8% of all jobs (85,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 2.2%
> 1-year change in job openings: +70.0%
> Labor force size: 1,056,346 people

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Source: pawel.gaul / Getty Images

9. Michigan
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 7.8% of all jobs (363,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 4.9%
> 1-year change in job openings: +47.0%
> Labor force size: 4,795,240 people

Source: mdgmorris / Getty Images

8. Delaware
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 7.9% of all jobs (39,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 4.8%
> 1-year change in job openings: +62.5%
> Labor force size: 498,193 people

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

7. Vermont
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 8.0% of all jobs (26,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 3.0%
> 1-year change in job openings: +73.3%
> Labor force size: 329,312 people

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Source: alexeys / Getty Images

6. Kentucky
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 8.0% of all jobs (167,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 4.4%
> 1-year change in job openings: +59.0%
> Labor force size: 2,053,986 people

Source: RudyBalasko / Getty Images

5. Minnesota
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 8.1% of all jobs (254,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 2.9%
> 1-year change in job openings: +124.8%
> Labor force size: 3,045,921 people

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Source: f11photo / Getty Images

4. Pennsylvania
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 8.3% of all jobs (532,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 5.4%
> 1-year change in job openings: +86.7%
> Labor force size: 6,371,387 people

Source: sorincolac / Getty Images

3. Alaska
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 8.7% of all jobs (30,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 5.6%
> 1-year change in job openings: +30.4%
> Labor force size: 361,290 people

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

2. Maine
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 8.8% of all jobs (61,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 4.1%
> 1-year change in job openings: +110.3%
> Labor force size: 679,523 people

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Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

1. New Hampshire
> Job openings at the end of Jan. 2022: 8.8% of all jobs (65,000 total openings)
> Jan. 2022 unemployment: 2.9%
> 1-year change in job openings: +103.1%
> Labor force size: 755,554 people

Methodology

To determine the States with the most job openings, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. States are ranked by the job openings rate, which is computed by dividing the number of job openings by the sum of employment and job openings and multiplying that quotient by 100. For multiple states with the same job openings rate, ties were broken by the actual number of job openings. 

Job openings are the number of positions – full-time, part-time, seasonal, short-term, or permanent – open on the last business day of January 2022, the most recent month of available data. In order to be counted as open, a job has to start within 30 days of when the employer can find a suitable candidate.

Figures on unemployment and labor force size, which includes Americans either working or actively looking for work, are also from the BLS. 

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