The U.S. job market has faced a historic labor shortage in recent months. With unemployment rates hovering near historic lows in much of the country, employers are struggling to fill critical positions. And the situation is not improving in most of the country.
Nationwide, there were 11.2 million unfilled jobs in July 2022, nearly 200,000 more than there were the previous month, according to a recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The worsening labor shortage is attributable to several broad trends, including reduced immigration, mass retirements, and surging quit rates – disruptions that emerged alongside the COVID-19 pandemic. (Here is a look at the states where workers are most likely to burn out.)
Still, in some parts of the country, labor market conditions this summer did not follow the national trend. In 17 states, the number of job openings actually declined from June to July – welcome news for many businesses, but bad news for job seekers.
24/7 Wall. St. reviewed July job opening data from the BLS in all 50 states to determine the states where job openings are disappearing. Among the 17 states on this list, the number of unfilled jobs fell by as much as 19% from the end of June 2022 to the end of July 2022.
Despite the falling number of job openings, employers in some states on this list are still up against massive labor shortages. In seven of these states, the share of jobs that were unfilled at the end of July exceeded the national share of 6.9%. (Here is a look at the cities projected to add the most jobs by 2060.)
Whether or not hiring will continue to outpace job growth in these states remains to be seen, but low unemployment rates in many of them will present a major challenge for employers going forward. In the majority of states on this list, the July unemployment rate was lower than the 3.5% national average.
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