For months, the American job market has been suffering from a historic labor shortage. Major disruptions in recent years – including reduced immigration, mass retirements, and surging quit rates – reduced the U.S. labor force by millions and left businesses struggling to fill open positions. While the problem still looms large, conditions are beginning to improve for employers in much of the country.
According to the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 11.3 million unfilled jobs nationwide at the end of May, 3.7% fewer than in the previous month. In some states, the decline in job openings was even more pronounced.
Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 35 states where job openings are disappearing. States are ranked by the change in the number of open jobs between April 2022 and May 2022, the most recent months of available data.
Among the 35 states that reported a month-over-month reduction in job openings, declines range from 0.6% to over 20%. The states reporting the largest drop in the number of unfilled jobs are concentrated in the Midwest.
While employers in these states are generally better positioned now than they were in April in terms of unfilled jobs, job openings remain historically high, exceeding the number of openings a year ago in nearly every state on this list. Among the 35 states, anywhere from 5.4% to 8.2% of jobs remain unfilled.
Despite the still relatively high need for workers, a small percentage of the labor force remains unemployed in these states, suggesting 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 employers offer. The unemployment rate among the states on this list ranges from 1.9% to 5.1%. The national jobless rate, meanwhile, stands at 3.6%. (Here is a look at the states where unemployment is at an all time low.)
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