Much has been made of the labor shortage plaguing American businesses.
You may have seen it yourself, say, in a restaurant where your meatloaf got cold because not enough waitstaff was working.
Personal-finance website WalletHub put together a list of the states where employers are having the most difficulty hiring.
It based its rankings on each state’s job-opening rate for October and the average for the 12 months through October. The monthly job-openings rate is the number of job openings on the last business day of the month as a percentage of total employment plus job openings.
If you don’t have a job, perhaps you’ll want to consider moving to one of the states with the highest job-opening rates.
The October figure accounts for two-thirds of the ranking and the 12-month number makes up one-third.
The top 10 states, starting with the highest job-opening rate:
- Alaska: October job opening rate: 8.3%. Twelve-month job opening rate: 9.5%
- Georgia: 7.6%, 7.96%
- Montana: 7.5%, 8.06%
- Louisiana: 7.7%, 7.29%
- New Mexico: 7.6%, 7.23%
- West Virginia: 7.4%, 7.67%
- Virginia: 7.4%, 7.37%
- Wyoming: 7.2%, 7.81%
- Delaware: 7.40%, 6.96%
- Vermont: 7.1%, 7.61%
And here’s the list for the bottom 10, again starting with the highest job-opening rate. The roster goes to 51 because it includes Washington, D.C.
42. South Dakota: October job opening rate: 5.8%. Twelve-month average job opening rate: 6.98%.
43. Nebraska: 5.8%, 6.81%
44. North Dakota: 5.7%, 7.01%
45. Pennsylvania: 5.7%, 6.8%
46. Illinois: 5.6%, 6.93%
47. Florida: 5.6%, 6.6%
48. New Jersey: 5.7%, 6.1%
49. Connecticut: 5.5%, 6.27%
50. Washington, D.C.: 5.6%, 5.7%
51. New York: 5.4%, 5.7%
Obstacles for Employers
WalletHub asked experts to weigh in on several issues related to hiring. One is: Why do employers have difficulties filling employment positions?
As for answers, “there appears to be a mismatch between the characteristics of employees who are looking for work and the types of jobs that employers are trying to fill,” wrote Jeffrey Arthur, a management professor at Virginia Tech.
“We have seen layoffs in the technology sector, and yet low-wage service-sector jobs (e.g., hotel, retail…) are not able to find enough people to fill these positions.
“Employees in these sectors are looking to find positions with better pay, flexibility, and working conditions. Many employers are not able to (or willing to) provide these things.
“As long as employees have employment alternatives, companies that are not able to meet employee demands will continue to find it difficult to fill these positions.”
Explanation for Job Turnover
Another question: What are the main factors that are influencing the high turnover rates in the labor market?
One answer: “The tight labor market coupled with the ability at most companies to work from home means that employees often have many options,” said Maurice Schweitzer, management professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
“They can easily switch companies without having to move or commute far distances. Also, employees are increasingly looking to work at companies that align with their values.”