Special Report

States With the Most Job Openings

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Bolstered by strong job growth, the U.S. economy continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, many companies and businesses are struggling to find and hire workers, as the number of unfilled jobs has hit multi-decade highs in recent months. There were 11.3 million job openings nationwide at the end of February 2022, 43% more than the same month last year. 

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. 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 62.4%, a low not seen in the pre-pandemic United States since the 1970s. 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 February 2022, the most recent month of available data. Depending on the state, the share of jobs that remain unfilled ranges from 6.1% up to 9.2%. 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 the 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 3.8% in February 2022. Depending on the state, unemployment ranges from 2.1% to 5.6%. 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 read our detailed methodology

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50. Nebraska
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 6.1% of all jobs (67,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 2.1%
> 1-year change in job openings: +21.8% (12,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 1,057,000 people

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49. Arkansas
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 6.1% of all jobs (85,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 3.1%
> 1-year change in job openings: +28.8% (19,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 1,339,399 people

48. Kansas
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 6.1% of all jobs (90,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 2.5%
> 1-year change in job openings: +21.6% (16,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 1,496,305 people

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47. Pennsylvania
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 6.1% of all jobs (382,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 5.1%
> 1-year change in job openings: +25.7% (78,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 6,370,062 people

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46. Connecticut
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 6.2% of all jobs (109,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 4.9%
> 1-year change in job openings: +43.4% (33,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 1,869,116 people

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45. New York
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 6.3% of all jobs (627,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 4.9%
> 1-year change in job openings: +57.9% (230,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 9,369,054 people

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44. South Dakota
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 6.5% of all jobs (31,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 2.6%
> 1-year change in job openings: +29.2% (7,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 471,304 people

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43. Iowa
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 6.5% of all jobs (109,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 3.5%
> 1-year change in job openings: +41.6% (32,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 1,686,648 people

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42. Indiana
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 6.5% of all jobs (219,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 2.3%
> 1-year change in job openings: +42.2% (65,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 3,315,935 people

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41. New Jersey
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 6.5% of all jobs (290,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 4.6%
> 1-year change in job openings: +27.2% (62,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 4,622,687 people

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40. Delaware
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 6.6% of all jobs (32,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 4.6%
> 1-year change in job openings: +39.1% (9,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 498,219 people

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39. Oklahoma
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 6.6% of all jobs (118,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 2.6%
> 1-year change in job openings: +29.7% (27,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 1,853,819 people

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38. Texas
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 6.6% of all jobs (932,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 4.7%
> 1-year change in job openings: +52.8% (322,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 14,373,632 people

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37. North Dakota
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 6.8% of all jobs (31,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 2.9%
> 1-year change in job openings: +47.6% (10,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 409,405 people

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36. Washington
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 6.8% of all jobs (255,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 4.3%
> 1-year change in job openings: +52.7% (88,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 3,981,799 people

35. Utah
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 6.9% of all jobs (122,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 2.1%
> 1-year change in job openings: +43.5% (37,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 1,697,136 people

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34. Alabama
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 6.9% of all jobs (152,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 3.0%
> 1-year change in job openings: +29.9% (35,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 2,260,562 people

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33. Colorado
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 6.9% of all jobs (210,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 4.0%
> 1-year change in job openings: +51.1% (71,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 3,199,344 people

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32. Florida
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 6.9% of all jobs (688,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 3.3%
> 1-year change in job openings: +52.5% (237,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 10,470,721 people

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31. Maine
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 7.0% of all jobs (48,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 4.0%
> 1-year change in job openings: +41.2% (14,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 680,015 people

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30. Ohio
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 7.0% of all jobs (409,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 4.2%
> 1-year change in job openings: +45.6% (128,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 5,749,599 people

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29. Illinois
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 7.0% of all jobs (449,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 4.8%
> 1-year change in job openings: +78.9% (198,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 6,403,328 people

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28. California
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 7.0% of all jobs (1297,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 5.3%
> 1-year change in job openings: +79.1% (573,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 19,068,225 people

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27. Mississippi
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 7.1% of all jobs (89,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 4.5%
> 1-year change in job openings: +34.8% (23,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 1,255,930 people

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26. Maryland
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 7.1% of all jobs (207,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 5.0%
> 1-year change in job openings: +28.6% (46,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 3,194,561 people

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25. Minnesota
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 7.1% of all jobs (221,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 2.7%
> 1-year change in job openings: +70.0% (91,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 3,059,493 people

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24. Missouri
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 7.1% of all jobs (222,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 3.7%
> 1-year change in job openings: +53.1% (77,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 3,080,111 people

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23. Rhode Island
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 7.2% of all jobs (38,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 3.9%
> 1-year change in job openings: +46.2% (12,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 568,599 people

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22. Nevada
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 7.2% of all jobs (112,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 5.1%
> 1-year change in job openings: +41.8% (33,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 1,498,303 people

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21. Virginia
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 7.2% of all jobs (313,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 3.2%
> 1-year change in job openings: +28.8% (70,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 4,292,097 people

20. Michigan
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 7.2% of all jobs (335,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 4.7%
> 1-year change in job openings: +32.9% (83,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 4,804,242 people

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19. Wisconsin
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 7.3% of all jobs (231,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 2.9%
> 1-year change in job openings: +77.7% (101,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 3,139,677 people

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18. Massachusetts
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 7.3% of all jobs (286,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 4.7%
> 1-year change in job openings: +67.3% (115,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 3,772,543 people

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17. Louisiana
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 7.4% of all jobs (152,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 4.3%
> 1-year change in job openings: +44.8% (47,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 2,078,228 people

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16. Arizona
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 7.4% of all jobs (242,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 3.6%
> 1-year change in job openings: +39.1% (68,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 3,543,498 people

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15. Oregon
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 7.5% of all jobs (156,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 4.0%
> 1-year change in job openings: +36.8% (42,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 2,174,003 people

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14. Tennessee
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 7.5% of all jobs (260,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 3.4%
> 1-year change in job openings: +62.5% (100,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 3,356,786 people

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13. North Carolina
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 7.5% of all jobs (378,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 3.7%
> 1-year change in job openings: +35.0% (98,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 5,015,299 people

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12. Idaho
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 7.6% of all jobs (67,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 2.8%
> 1-year change in job openings: +55.8% (24,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 927,196 people

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11. New Mexico
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 7.6% of all jobs (69,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 5.6%
> 1-year change in job openings: +50.0% (23,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 947,443 people

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10. Kentucky
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 7.6% of all jobs (160,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 4.2%
> 1-year change in job openings: +45.5% (50,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 2,056,085 people

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9. Wyoming
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 7.7% of all jobs (24,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 3.6%
> 1-year change in job openings: +33.3% (6,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 290,282 people

8. Hawaii
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 7.8% of all jobs (51,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 4.2%
> 1-year change in job openings: +104.0% (26,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 672,596 people

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7. New Hampshire
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 7.8% of all jobs (57,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 2.7%
> 1-year change in job openings: +35.7% (15,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 756,659 people

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6. South Carolina
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 7.9% of all jobs (188,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 3.5%
> 1-year change in job openings: +44.6% (58,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 2,378,347 people

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5. Vermont
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 8.0% of all jobs (26,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 2.9%
> 1-year change in job openings: +62.5% (10,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 330,023 people

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4. Montana
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 8.0% of all jobs (44,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 2.6%
> 1-year change in job openings: +46.7% (14,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 556,361 people

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3. West Virginia
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 8.0% of all jobs (61,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 3.9%
> 1-year change in job openings: +27.1% (13,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 793,816 people

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2. Georgia
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 8.8% of all jobs (454,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 3.2%
> 1-year change in job openings: +61.6% (173,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 5,234,632 people

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1. Alaska
> Job openings at the end of Feb. 2022: 9.2% of all jobs (32,000 total openings)
> Feb. 2022 unemployment: 5.3%
> 1-year change in job openings: +33.3% (8,000 more openings)
> Labor force size: 361,562 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 calculated by dividing the number of job openings by the sum of employment and job openings and multiplying the 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 February 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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