With the labor force participation rate at 62.3%, one of the lowest rates in decades, a new survey shows which States are Where Employers Are Struggling the Most in Hiring.
To see where employers are struggling the most in hiring, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on the rate of job openings for both the latest month and the last 12 months. For example:
California Hiring Struggle Stats
- Job openings rate during the latest month: 6.20%
- Job openings rate in the past 12 months: 6.63%
- Overall rank: 18th smallest hiring struggle in the country
Why do employers have difficulties in filling employment positions?
“They aren’t meeting their employees’ needs, which in a tight labor market means it is hard to attract and keep workers. It isn’t simply that employers are not paying enough, though that is certainly part of it. What happened during the pandemic is that people had time on their hands to re-evaluate their work-life balance, career paths, and professional goals – and began to prioritize the quality of their work environment. People became less tolerant of poor working conditions, low pay, and lack of flexibility – and found that they had other job opportunities and weren’t afraid to switch jobs. And some employers have been unwilling to keep up with the changing times,” said Steve Striffler, Ph.D., director of the Labor Resource Center, College of Liberal Arts, University of Massachusetts Boston.
“We’ve been operating in a very tight labor market for a long time. Part of this is that so many retired or dropped out of the workforce during the height of the pandemic. The US has also seen a significant drop in legal immigration over the past several years. Demographic trends have also contributed. There are jobs to be had, but fewer people to fill them. Pretty much anyone who wants to work can find a job, and those with valuable skills could likely get multiple job offers. Because of this, employers are ‘one-upping’ each other in terms of pay, flexibility, or benefits…Further, with remote and work-from-home much more possible, many employees are leaving ‘in-office’ jobs for other opportunities, often outside of their local labor market,” said Scott Behson, Ph.D., professor, Fairleigh Dickinson University; author of “The Whole-Person Workplace: Building Better Workplaces Through Work-Life, Wellness, and Employee Support.”
How can employers attract and retain employees during this troubling period?
“One of the ways employers can attract and retain workers during this period is to be very clear about the kind of person they want to attract and retain, understand how their demands are differentiated from those of their labor market competitors and offer the types of pay and work experience specifically tailored to that kind of person. Employers will sometimes take too narrow a view – for instance, the desire to hire the best person cheaply doesn’t leave much room for strategy. Employers might decide that their business model allows them to offer a high degree of autonomy and work-life flexibility, and so they can custom tailor their pay, workflow, and culture around that amenity,” said
Alan Benson, associate professor, University of Minnesota.
“Employers can offer higher compensation and better non-wage conditions of employment. Allowing workers to work remotely is a benefit that can help retain workers who might want to quit to relocate. Flexible hours of employment might entice potential workers with small children into employment,” said Michael L. Bognanno, Ph.D., department chair and professor of economics, at Temple University.
In your opinion, will this imbalance in the labor market continue to be an issue throughout all of 2022 or will it get solved faster?
“The labor market has been tight for a long time now and there will inevitably be some softening. The Fed has been raising interest rates aggressively to fight inflation and these actions are likely to cool the job market somewhat. However, I think it will continue to be a good time for employees and potential employees well into next year. Employers need to adjust to this medium-term reality by better recognizing employee needs and valuing the Whole Person,” Behson added.
“In my estimation, the imbalance will continue throughout 2022 and likely far beyond. The United States is not the only country facing labor shortages, an inflationary impact on wages, and a lack of skilled workers. These market dynamics aren’t going to go away anytime soon, and skilled workers, wherever they are from, will remain in high demand,” said Don Kjelleren, executive director of, ’68 Center for Career Exploration, Williams College.
To view the full report and your state’s rank, please visit: here.